Russian Crisis: British cameraman killed in crossfire

A BRITISH television cameraman was killed in Moscow during clashes between troops loyal to President Boris Yeltsin and Communist-led rebels, Reuters reports.

Rory Peck, 36, was killed in crossfire on Sunday night, a spokeswoman for the German ARD television company said yesterday. He was on assignment for the company.

A BBC spokeswoman said Peck, a former member of the Grenadier Guards, was filming outside the Ostankino television station in Moscow when he died. 'We understand he was shot once in the head and once in the neck,' she said.

Peck had worked as a freelance for ARD and the BBC in former Yugoslavia.

The BBC's Foreign Affairs Editor, John Simpson, said: 'Rory was one of the bravest people I have ever worked with - too brave in some ways. In Afghanistan, in Romania, in Bosnia, in Russia, his aim was always to be closer to the fighting than anyone else.

'He was also a marvellous character, someone who could make you laugh from beginning to end of any assignment, no matter how difficult.'

Simpson said that on successive days during the attempted coup in 1991, Peck had managed to get a BBC camera team into KGB headquarters and into the private offices of the then president, Mikhail Gorbachev.

A Reuters correspondent, John Fullerton, who worked with Peck in Sarajevo, said: 'Unlike many media people who preferred the comfort and relative safety of their hotel, he was willing to walk over rough country in all weathers for days at a time to get to the story.' Until recently Peck had worked for Frontline News, a co-operative of cameramen, many of them former soldiers, who provided coverage of dangerous or out-of-the-way places. He was married to the British widow of a French journalist killed in the city of Peshawar, on the Afghan border. He comes from a family of Northern Ireland gentleman farmers and has four children.

Obituary, page 20

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