A reporter’s story

When I was a reporter I found myself following a story about three terrorists who killed a policeman and wounded another in a place very popular for hikers: a canyon with a pretty dangerous river down in the bottom.

The place is beautiful and it has only one path with several tunnels. People leave their cars up on the path and get down to the river banks to have a sunbathe or enjoy a picnic. The police patrol the place because burglars often rob the cars while the people are down by the river.

That day, the patrol saw a bag apparently abandoned by the river bank and one policeman went down to pick it up. Suddenly he saw people invisible from above, with guns and they killed him. His partner answered to the fire and was wounded.

The terrorists fled running, but the police closed the two entrances of the tunnels and the main path.  And the river was impossible to use as a way of escape. So the terrorists were last seen try to hiding in the forest.

Hundreds of police officers began to search the forest.

I, as a journalist, was with my photographer the first in the scene early in the morning. We saw how they took out the body of the dead policeman, we heard how they talked about who was going to tell what happened to her widow. We saw arrive the special corps to search the forest looking for the terrorists.

We waited under a heavy sun, hours and hours. Finally the police showed us the place where all happened, under heavy measures of security, because the terrorists were still at large over there. They had found maps and blueprints of an attempt in progress leaved behind by the suspects as they fled.

It was late in the evening when we arrived to the newsroom completely knackered. And we still had to prepare the photos and write a story that was open, because we didn’t know if the terrorists had succeeded in their escape or not. Chances were that they were still hiding in the area and could be caught in any moment.

Next day one of the terrorists, the youngest of the three, gave up himself seriously wounded in the head and pointed to the special corps where there were the two others. They were dead.

Apparently, when they saw they didn’t have a way out and were surrounded by the police, they decided to commit suicide rather than be caught. The youngest one, hesitated in the last moment and survived. He told the police the story about the decision they had taken.

Later their lawyers accused the police to have killed the terrorists cold blood. The only witness is the terrorist that survived who is very handicapped because of his wound. The accusations were never proved.


Author: Olga Brajnović

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