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Iraqi journalist killed near Basra

Assailants on Friday gunned down an Iraqi journalist who had been working for a local radio station run by a Shiite political party that is the chief rival of anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, the station and police said, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Jassim al-Batat, 38, was killed by gunmen in a speeding car as he left his house in the town of Qurna in his own car, said Adnan al-Asadi, the head of the local al-Nakhil radio station based in the southern city of Basra. Qurna is 55 miles north of Basra. Police also confirmed that al-Batat was killed in the attack.

More from the AP report;

Al-Nakhil radio is run by the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council. Its leader Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim has sided with the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki since Iraqi security forces launched a crackdown on al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia in Basra a month ago.

Journalists have frequently been targeted or caught up in attacks in Iraq. More than 175 journalists and media support workers have been killed since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists.

Reporters without Borders, the Paris-based advocacy group, said Friday that 211 media assistants and journalists, including al-Batat, have been killed since the invasion began. The fate of another 14 journalists and assistants who were kidnapped is not known, the group said.

Date posted: April 25, 2008 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 411