Israeli Army: Soldiers who Fired at BBC Worker Acted Appropriately

Published June 17th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

An Israeli tank that fired at and killed a Lebanese driver working for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in south Lebanon last month acted according to accepted procedure, reported The Associated Press, quoting the army spokesman Friday.  

The BBC expressed dismay over the army announcement, insisting that troops along the Israeli-Lebanese border were "recklessly targeting civilians."  

Abed Takoush, 50, died instantly when the car he was driving just north of the border was hit by a tank shell May 23rd, the day before Israeli troops completed a withdrawal from a self-declared security zone in south Lebanon.  

The army said soldiers in the area had been under fire and believed Takoush's vehicle carried anti-Israeli guerrillas who intended to attack them, said AP.  

"In retrospect it became clear that a tragic mistake was made," the army said. "An investigation found that, according to the operational conditions. The unit acted appropriately in accordance with the circumstances."  

The tank commanders had checked with their supervisors, who approved the decision to fire on the vehicle, the army said, expressing "deep sorrow" over the accident.  

The BBC said in a statement it was "deeply dissatisfied" with the outcome of the army investigation, added AP.  

"We believe the report does not address the overwhelming evidence that the army was recklessly targeting civilians," said the head of newsgathering, Adrian Van Klaveren.  

"Video and witness accounts prove no guerrillas were firing" in the area at the time, said AP, quoting the BBC statement - Albawaba.com  

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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