BBC defends decision to show dead British soldiers
LONDON - The BBC has defended its decision to show the bodies of dead British soldiers in Iraq, after Downing Street and the families of the dead men asked the broadcaster not to do so.
The two dead soldiers, Staff Sergeant Simon Cullingworth and Sapper Luke Allsopp, were shown lying dead in a street as part of a 'Correspondent' documentary about the Arabic television station Al Jazeera, which was heavily criticised for showing dead and captured allied soldiers during the invasion of Iraq.
Families of the dead soldiers, the Ministry of Defence, Downing Street and the Conservatives had all joined calls to ask the BBC to reconsider showing the images of the dead soldiers, but the BBC rejected the calls.
According to a story on BBC News, the programme makers said that they had "sought to avoid shock and sensation". It said that the BBC had approached the families of the dead soldiers to help them understand what the programme was about.
The story went on to say: "The BBC is sympathetic to the feelings of everyone who lost loved ones in the war and we do understand the distress they are going through."
An argument about the programme, which aired last night, was raging all week, after the plans to show the images were revealed. The two soldiers, members of a bomb disposal unit, went missing on March 23 after an attack, but the circumstances of their deaths have not been fully explained.
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