January 29, 2006

ABC News anchor, cameraman stable after Iraq bombing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff and
camera operator Doug Vogt were in serious but stable condition
on Sunday after suffering head injuries when their Iraqi
military vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb.

At the time of the blast, they were traveling with an Iraqi
Army unit near Taji, outside Baghdad, ABC News said. The
vehicle came under small-arms fire after the blast, the network

Both Woodruff and Vogt suffered head and shrapnel injuries
even though they were wearing body armor, helmets and
protective glasses, ABC News said. Vogt also had a broken

"Bob and Doug continue to rest in stable condition in Iraq
after their surgeries," ABC News President David Westin said in
a statement. "They remain in serious condition with injuries to
the head and, in Bob's case, injuries to the upper body as

Westin said Woodruff and Vogt would soon be flown to U.S.
medical facilities in Landstuhl, Germany, for further

Woodruff and Vogt were injured by an improvised explosive
device, or IED, which insurgents often plant on roads to attack
U.S. vehicles.

ABC correspondent Martha Raddatz, appearing on the
network's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos," said Woodruff
and Vogt were exposed when the device exploded because they
were standing up in their vehicle's open hatch.

On December 5 ABC named Woodruff and Elizabeth Vargas as
co-anchors to replace the late Peter Jennings on its "World
News Tonight" evening newscast. They started on January 3.

Woodruff, 44, is from Michigan and Vogt, 46, an
Emmy-award-winning cameraman, is Canadian and lives in France.

"Obviously we are praying for Mr. Woodruff's and Mr. Vogt's
full and speedy recovery," a White House spokesman said. "Our
thoughts and prayers are with them and their families."

Iraq remains the most dangerous place for journalists. Some
60 journalists have been killed in Iraq since the U.S.-led
invasion in March 2003, according to the Committee to Protect
Journalists. At least 41 of those were Iraqi, the CPJ said in a
recent report. Others say the toll is higher.

An Iraqi television cameraman was killed in clashes between
Sunni rebels and U.S. forces on January 24 in the insurgent
stronghold of Ramadi.

Many journalists have also been taken hostage; some have
been killed by their abductors but most have been released
unharmed. American journalist Jill Carroll was kidnapped in
Baghdad on January 7 and is still missing.

Woodruff gave up a law career to become a journalist. A
graduate of Colgate University and the University of Michigan
Law School, he was teaching law in Beijing in 1989 when CBS
News hired him as a translator during the Tiananmen Square
uprising. He went on to work at television stations in Redding,
California, Richmond, Virginia, and Phoenix before ABC hired
him in Chicago in 1996.

Woodruff, a father of four, has reported from around the
world, including covering the fall of the Taliban in
Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks and reporting as an
embedded journalist during the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.

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