Thursday 10 April 2003

Dead correspondent was deliberately targeted

His wife, Dima Tahboob, said she received phone calls from Ayoub everyday. “He was not scared at all,” she said as she wept silently.

The last time she spoke to him was Monday evening. “He was exhausted and his voice was tired,” she said. “He said they were barely sleeping three hours a day. I tried to comfort him and then he told me not to worry, saying that the situation was not bad for journalists.”

“Probably everyone will forget him, maybe Al Jazeera will forget him, but he is now with God who does not forget anyone.”

Another cameraman, Zuheir Iraqi, was slightly hurt in his neck by shrapnel.

They were both standing on the roof getting ready for a live broadcast amid intensifying bombardment of the city when the building was hit by two missiles, according to Tayseer Allouni, another Al Jazeera correspondent.

Cameraman Iraqi came down bleeding, but Ayoub did not show up. “I ran up as the shells were still falling and crawled on the roof and shouted for Tariq, but he did not answer,” Allouni said.

Allouni had gone down because of the intense bombing. He later went up again and with the help of Abu Dhabi TV correspondent, Jaber Obeid, found Ayoub’s body.

Allouni, Jaber and others took Ayoub in an Abu Dhabi TV vehicle to a hospital.

Shortly afterwards, US warplanes returned to hit the neighbouring Abu Dhabi TV offices.

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