Yet another terrifying moment for Simpson - Media - News - The Independent

Yet another terrifying moment for Simpson

John Simpson's narrow escape from death is not the first time the BBC's world affairs editor has found himself in danger while reporting from the world's trouble spots during his 30-year career.

His first experience of violence came in 1970 when he was punched in the stomach by Harold Wilson for asking whether he was about to call an election.

He later smuggled himself into Angola to cover British mercenaries fighting in the civil war. He says he was nearly killed several times and described the experience as the "most terrifying" of his career.

In 1973 in Londonderry in Northern Ireland he was pushed into the passenger seat of his car by a man threatening to blow his head off, who then drove into the Bogside.

During the Gulf War in 1991 he remained in Baghdad while it was bombed, despite being ordered to leave by his bosses. He famously described a cruise missile flying past his hotel window and "turning left at the traffic lights".

He similarly stayed in Belgrade during the bombing there in 1999 after other journalists from Nato countries were expelled, inviting the wrath of the British Government which accused him of being a Serbian mouthpiece.

In 1989 he escaped the bullets of Tiananmen Square, an event he described as the most harrowing of his career. He stepped in to save the life of a soldier after seeing two beaten to death by the angry crowd.

He has been threatened with "liquidation" by Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister, Tariq Aziz, avoided poison gas in the Gulf and had a gun pointed to his head in Palestine after being ordered to kneel in the road.

But his most famous and controversial exploit was "liberating" Kabul in 2001. After entering Afghanistan disguised as a woman dressed in a burqa he walked into the capital ahead of Northern Alliance troops following the collapse of the Taliban.

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