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CBS team fatally attacked in Iraq

A car bomb killed two CBS News crew members, a U.S. soldier and severely wounded an American correspondent with Baltimore ties yesterday, a day in which at least 33 people died in bombings and shootings in Iraq's capital.

On-air reporter Kimberly Dozier, 39, who grew up in the Baltimore area, and two British crew members had been embedded with the 4th Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division, which was working its way through central Baghdad. Cameraman Paul Douglas, 48, and soundman James Brolan, 42, died at the scene of the attack. The Army did not immediately release the soldier's name. An Iraqi contractor also died in the blast, the military said.The CBS crew had been riding through the predominantly Shiite Muslim, middle-class shopping district of Karada and had stepped down from a Humvee when the car bomb ripped through the vehicles. It was unclear how the bomb was detonated.

Dozier attended the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore and graduated in 1984 from St. Timothy's School, a boarding school in Stevenson. Her parents, retirees Benjamin and Dorothy Dozier, and her brother, Michael, and his wife planned to travel today to Germany to be with her at the hospital.

Dorothy Dozier, reached last night at her Timonium home, said she had been told that shrapnel had been removed from her daughter's head but that there didn't appear to be any brain damage - "great news," she said, adding, "I am looking forward to seeing her and seeing for myself what her injuries are."

CBS News reported on its Web site that Kimberly Dozier also had suffered serious injuries to her lower body.

Dorothy Dozier said that as her daughter has traveled to report from one dangerous situation to another across the globe, she has often worried.

"I haven't always felt at ease," she said. "But what can I do? This is what she chose to do."

The attack came as bloodshed surged across the country yesterday. At least 33 people were shot dead or killed in bombings in Baghdad as an insurgency raged and the two major Muslim sects continued to swap rounds of attacks and assassinations.

Targets of bombing attacks included the German Embassy, an Iraqi police station and a parking garage.

The most deadly attack struck a bus full of day laborers on their way to work at a base belonging to Iranian dissident group Mujahedeen e Khalq. The blast north of Baghdad killed 11 workers and wounded 16 others. Most of the men were farmers and construction workers on the base; they had mixed religious backgrounds.

Another bomb targeting a patrol of Iraqi police in northern Baghdad killed eight people, most of them students from a nearby school. And Sunday night, two British soldiers died after a British patrol north of Basra was struck by a roadside bomb.

After yesterday's attack, Dozier was rushed into surgery at a U.S. military hospital in the Iraqi capital. She was in critical condition, and doctors were "cautiously optimistic" about her prognosis, a statement from CBS said.

"This is a devastating loss for CBS News," Sean McManus, president of the network's news and sports divisions, said in a statement. "Kimberly, Paul and James were veterans of war coverage who proved their bravery and dedication every single day. They always volunteered for dangerous assignments and were invaluable in our attempt to report the news to the American public."

McManus said Dozier was undergoing a second operation last night at the military hospital in Balad and would probably be airlifted to a U.S. military base in Germany.

Randy Stevens, headmaster of St. Timothy's School, said yesterday evening that Dozier was a "very active" alumna who attended a reunion at the school last year and was featured prominently in the most recent issue of the alumnae magazine, Sans Peur. That article, "Fire in the Belly," detailed Dozier's rise as a correspondent and how analytical skills and her theater background at St. Timothy's have aided her career.

"She really wants people to understand the facts, see both sides of the story and make up their minds for themselves. I think that's why she's taken some of the risks she's taken," Stevens said.

Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq, and U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad went to the hospital last night to offer their condolences to CBS staffers and to monitor Dozier's condition.

Dozier, who had been reporting in Iraq for three years, had returned to Baghdad this week after taking a break to help move her parents to an assisted living facility, said anchor Bob Schieffer.

"We're just sick to our stomachs about this," he said in an interview. "This is a reminder that this is not a reality show. We see so much of this on television that we tend to look at these things as a movie. But people are getting hurt and killed out there. This brings it home."

Schieffer said he had spoken to Dozier just last week about taking a break from the war zone.

"I was encouraging her to take some assignments where there was less risk," he said. "But she was just determined to go back to Baghdad and see the story through. It's just a heartbreaker."

The attack on the CBS crew was an eerie echo of the one on ABC anchor Bob Woodruff and cameraman Doug Vogt five months ago as they were traveling with Iraqi troops north of Baghdad.

Yesterday, Woodruff released a statement saying he was "devastated" by the news.

CBS News' McManus said he hasn't contemplated whether the network should re-evaluate how it is covering Iraq but added, "I don't think there are any more precautions that any of us could take that we're not taking. The fact of the matter is that it is so, so dangerous and so unprecedented. It's something that every news organization is grappling with."

Douglas had worked for CBS News for more than a decade in hot spots such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Rwanda and Bosnia.

Brolan was a freelancer who had worked for the network for a year, in Baghdad and Afghanistan, and was part of the CBS News team that received a 2006 Overseas Press Club Award for reporting on the Pakistan earthquake.

Dorothy Dozier told The Sun that she is very proud of her daughter and confident that she will survive her injuries.

"She's a strong person, she's in good physical shape and she's got a strong will," she said.

Megan K. Stack and Matea Gold write for the Los Angeles Times. Sun reporter Jill Rosen contributed to this article.


CBS CREW

KILLED

Soundman

James Brolan, 42, British freelancer; is survived by wife, Geraldine, and two children, Sam, 17, and Agatha, 12.

Cameraman

Paul Douglas, 48, British; survived by wife, Linda; daughters, Kelly, 29, and Joanne, 26; and three grandchildren.

WOUNDED

Correspondent Kimberly Dozier, 39, grew up in Baltimore area; graduated from St. Timothy's School. Parents live in Timonium.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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