Spain has reopened an investigation into the death of a journalist killed in Iraq in 2003 and reissued arrest warrants for three US soldiers in relation to the incident.

According to the Associated Press, Spanish cameraman Jose Couso was killed by tank fire after US soldiers responded "to what they said was hostile fire" from a hotel in Baghdad where journalists were staying during the invasion of Iraq.

Journalist freedom campaigners have welcomed the decision, which follows a ruling by the supreme court to reopen the case following an appeal by the Couso's family. The case had been been dismissed on two previous occasions.

Another journalist, Reuters reporter Taras Protsyuk, from the Ukraine, was also killed by the tank shelling at the Palestine Hotel on 8 April 2003.

A US review into the incident reportedly found the use of force was justified. But a Madrid judge has now reissued warrants for three soldiers - named as Sgt. Thomas Gibson, Capt. Philip Wolford and Lt. Col. Philip de Camp - in relation to the incident. Campaigners today urged the US authorities to respond to the requests.

Reporters without Borders said a new investigation would help to finally give the journalist's family the truth about what happened.

"We welcome the supreme court decision that relaunched the investigation into Couso's death," the group said in a release. "It is high time the case emerged from the judicial labyrinth in which it has been lost for years. If Sgt. Thomas Gibson, Capt. Philip Wolford and Lt. Col. Philip de Camp were questioned in court, it could shed light on the unanswered questions surrounding this case."

"We urge the US authorities to respect the request being made by the Spanish court and the Couso family. After a seven-year wait, the family's need to know the truth about his death is greater than ever."

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