Iraqi soldiers shot to death a Harvard-educated German photographer for Newsweek magazine after finding him hiding in a house with a Kurdish rebel, two of his freed colleagues said Wednesday.
American Frank Smyth, 29, and Frenchman Alain Buu, 30, who drove to freedom in Jordan after being held in Iraq for 18 days, said Gad Gross, 26, a German-Romanian working for Newsweek, was killed March 29 in the northern Iraqi town of Kirkuk.
Smyth said the shooting took place while Kirkuk was under assault by the Iraqi army to regain it from Kurdish rebels staging a post-Gulf War revolt against President Saddam Hussein.
Smyth, a free-lance journalist for CBS News, and Buu, a Vietnamese-born photographer for the French photo agency Gamma-Liaison, were arrested after Gross was killed. They were freed from a Baghdad jail Monday.
They told a news conference in Amman they were hiding in a ditch 100 feet from the house where Gross was killed.
“In my opinion, it was an unplanned, spontaneous execution,” Smyth said.
The three had crossed into Iraq from Turkey on March 20.