Journalist narrowly escapes death after GoPro is shot off his chest in Iraq

Screenshot from Owen Holdaway

An Iraqi journalist had a close call with death in Mosul after a bullet fired by an ISIS sniper narrowly missed him and instead hit the GoPro strapped to his chest. And it was all caught on video.

Ammar Alwaely was working in the Al-Zaraee district with The Sun reporter Owen Holdaway when they came under fire by a sniper.

“At first I did not know what happened. I fell to the floor and could not turn around to see if Ammar was okay,” Holdaway told The Sun. “Crawling along to behind the vehicle, I eventually looked up and saw it had hit my old GoPro that I had given him just a few days earlier.”

Footage of the incident captured on Holdaway’s camera is heart-stopping. The bullet misses Alwaely’s chest by just a few millimetres and his GoPro explodes instead, sending shards of plastic flying into his face.

Alwaely was treated for minor wounds to his face, as well as dehydration. After being released from the hospital, he joked with Holdaway that he should buy him a new mountable camera in Erdil, a city outside the combat zone.

General Al-Sammi, commander of the area, told the two journalists that they were very lucky to have not been killed.

Holdaway reported earlier this month that ISIS has a squad of foreign female snipers fighting in the battle for Mosul, though the gender of the sniper who took aim at Alwaely and his crew is unknown.