(CNN) — Video that aired on a Turkish television network Thursday showed reporters from two stations ducking for cover and saying their last prayers as their vehicle came under attack in Georgia.
One reporter was shot in the head in the attack, which happened Sunday, but his injuries were not considered life-threatening. All the journalists involved were safely back in Turkey on Thursday.
It’s one of several incidents in which journalists have been caught in the shooting between Georgian and Russian forces.
The crews, from Turkish networks NTV and Kanal Turk, were traveling from Gori, in Georgia, to the South Ossetian city of Tshinvali when video shows bullets striking their vehicle.
The network NTV told CNN it was unclear who fired on the vehicle, striking journalist Levent Ozturk in his left eye.
Then, late Wednesday night, the commander of the Russian contingent, Gen. Vyacheslav Borisov, drove up in a Mercedes with Georgian license plates to the Russian army checkpoint at the entrance to the city and reported that everything is peaceful and under control.
“We are not going to shoot, we are not going to kill,” Gen. Borisov, the deputy head of Russia’s Air Assault Force, told a group of reporters that assembled at the checkpoint. “We came here simply to restore order. And now it is secure here — see, I can drive around unarmed.”
Just a day before the Russian takeover, Gori, the birthplace of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, was severely bombed by Russian planes. Shortly before Gen. Borisov’s improvised news conference on Wednesday night, Russian soldiers at the checkpoint warned that reporters would be shot if they violated a blackout order by using cell phones or flashlights. . . .
“The Russians are looting everything in sight. The whole city is full of marauders,” said Roland Bochiashvili. Russian soldiers stood by as irregulars held a Sky TV crew at gunpoint and took their car and equipment. A group of Polish journalists also had their car and equipment stolen. On the road to Tbilisi, a group of refugees angrily shouted at a lonely Georgian government official. “Where is our government? Where is our army?” wailed one distraught woman. “Who in the world is going to help us? Nobody cares.”