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Associated Press reporter fired over erroneous story on missile incident in Poland

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PRZEWODOW, POLAND: Members of the Polish Army conduct a search operation in the fields around the place where the rockets fell, in the village of Przewodow in the Lublin Voivodeship, on November 17, 2022 in Przewodow, Poland. (Artur Widak - Anadolu Agency)
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Nov 23, 2022 - 05:43 AM

ANKARA (AA) – The Associated Press on Monday fired one of its investigative journalists for reporting false information on a missile that fell in eastern Poland amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

James LaPorta, 32, was terminated after a brief investigation into a report he filed saying that two people had been killed when “Russian missiles” crossed into NATO-member Poland and struck an area near the border with Ukraine, The Daily Beast reported.

Official statements later clarified that Moscow was likely not behind the incident and that the missile, while Russian-made, was probably fired by Ukraine in air defense forces.

The story by LaPorta attributed the information to a single “senior US intelligence official” despite the news agency’s rule that it “routinely seeks and requires more than one source when sourcing is anonymous,” according to the American news website.

In response to the incident, the Russian Defense Ministry said it did not carry out strikes within 35 kilometers (about 22 miles) of the Polish border.

For his part, Polish President Andrzej Duda said it was likely an accident and that the missile was probably not Russian.

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