ITN loses second journalist as Iraqi conflict continues

LONDON - ITN has suffered a second tragic loss of a reporter in Iraq, with the death of Channel 4 News foreign affairs correspondent Gaby Rado who died yesterday.

ITN, which produces Channel 4 News, said that he was not the victim of military action, but instead he seems to have fallen from the rooftop of the Abu Sanaa hotel in Suleimaniya in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq.

The 48-year-old Budapest-born journalist, who has been with ITN since 1985 and was attached to Channel 4 News since 1988, was found in the hotel's car park.

His death follows that earlier this month of fellow ITN journalist Terry Lloyd, 50, who was killed in Iraq by friendly fire.

The two men are the only ITN journalists to be killed in the news organisation's 48-year history.

In a statement, ITN said; "Gaby was found with serious head injuries in the hotel car park. He received immediate first aid at the scene and was then taken to the local hospital where he was pronounced dead. There appears to be no direct connection with any military action."

His body was found at around 8.30am local time on Sunday with serious head injuries and was taken to the local hospital where he was pronounced dead. His body is now at the local hospital and police have launched an inquiry.

Stewart Purvis, ITN chief executive and editor-in-chief, said: "Gaby Rado was one of the great practitioners of the intelligent, probing and sometimes sceptical journalism which is the hallmark of Channel 4 News. His death is a tragedy for his family, friends and colleagues across the different newsrooms within ITN."

Rado had been in Suleimaniya covering the war from the Kurdish front, where American paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne were recently dropped to strengthen special forces and Kurdish militia.

Although born in Hungary, Rado emigrated with his family to England 40 years ago and graduated from Christ's College, Cambridge.

His began his career in journalism in 1976 on the Kentish Times and then went on to work for the BBC in 1978, working first in radio and then in television.

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