War reporter's widow demands truth over killing

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The Independent Online

The widow of Terry Lloyd, the ITN war correspondent killed by American "friendly" crossfire during the Iraq invasion, has called on the US military to reveal "the whole truth" about his death – including the name of the soldier responsible.

Mr Lloyd, 50, was killed after he and three colleagues were hit by American tank-fire as they approached Basra – later to be administered by the British – in March 2003. A coroner recorded a verdict of unlawful killing at the inquest into his death in Oxford in October 2006.

But the inquest heard from what one of Mr Lloyd's colleagues called a "very credible" Iraqi witness that he survived an original US tank attack and was then shot in the head by an American soldier as he was being driven to hospital.

After that verdict, Lynn Lloyd demanded that the individual responsible for her husband's death should face trial, and the journalist's family described US forces as "trigger-happy cowboys".

Now, in an interview for ITV News to be broadcast tonight to coincide with the fifth anniversary of her husband's death, Mrs Lloyd says she "can't get angry any more" but would like to know the name of man "who shot Terry". Mrs Lloyd said: "I can't blame anyone. I wish to God it hadn't happened, but I don't see the point in tying myself in knots.

"But I would like to know the name of the man who shot Terry. I guess that is never going to happen, but I would like to know."

Mr Lloyd, his Lebanese interpreter Hussein Osman, and the French cameraman Fred Nerac were killed near the Shatt al-Basra bridge outside Basra after the group had made their way across the border from Kuwait City.

Referring to the "trigger happy" quote, she added: "That phrase seemed appropriate at the time. But if it was a young man, maybe even a teenager doing what he was told to do in a war situation, then you can't really blame him. All I am asking for is the whole truth."

Mrs Lloyd said she had never tried to stop her husband going into war zones. "It was what he wanted to do," she said. "Frankly, even if I had asked him not to go, it would not have made any difference."

She is backing a campaign from ITV – which conducted its own inquiry into Mr Lloyd's death – for international law to be changed to make it a specific offence under the Rome Statute to wilfully kill a journalist. "It would be a wonderful legacy for Terry, even if it only saved one journalist's life," she said.