Hahoo   Thursday, October 14, 2004, 08:44 GMT
"A Palestinian schoolgirl who was hit by Israeli gunfire as she sat inside a United Nations school in Gaza has died of her injuries."
Isn't supposed to be " as she WAS SITTING" instead of "as she sat"?
vn23   Thursday, October 14, 2004, 09:18 GMT
It sounds fine.
Mxsmanic   Thursday, October 14, 2004, 19:42 GMT
Either construction is fine. There is no "required" form.

In this case, the past simple is most likely used because the speaker or writer saw the girl's position as a state, not an action. States are typically expressed by simple tenses in all contexts.
Tom   Friday, October 15, 2004, 13:29 GMT
Simple tenses are more formal than progressive tenses, which is why newspapers prefer simple tenses. Compare:

I await your reply.
I am awaiting your reply.