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Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Municipal reporter for cable news magazine murdered in the Haifa attack

Mark Biano, 29, known for covering terrorist attacks, could not be reached Saturday by staff members of the local Haifa cable TV news magazine, News of the Day. They desperately wanted him get to the scene of the attack at the Maxim restaurant, in which 19 people were murdered.

"They called him on his cellphone, his phone, tried paging him, nothing worked. We never imagined that his body was lying there, five meters from us," Eliran Tal, another reporter at the station, told Channel 1. "We continued covering the attack until we heard of his death. We put the cameras and microphones aside, and this attack became a personal tragedy."

Biano and his wife, Naomi, 25, were at the restaurant having lunch when the suicide bomber struck. They were one of three families largely wiped out in the attack.

On Sunday, Tal showed reporters from Channel 1 Biano's desk. As a municipal reporter, he had piles of cassettes with different reports on the environment and politics. "It looks like it would on any regular work day," said Tal, as he held up the text of Biano's last broadcast on Thursday.

He and his wife were married two years ago and spent a long honeymoon in the US and the Caribbean islands. They were buried Sunday. He is survived by his parents and a sister.