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Two journalists killed in separate incidents in Iraq

Two Iraqi journalists were killed in separate incidents this week.

Wisam Ali Ouda, a cameraman for the Afaq television station, was shot as he walked home in the Obaidi district of Baghdad on Wednesday morning, Reuters reported. The station's public relations head, Bushra Abdul-Amir, told Reuters that witnesses said Ouda was shot by an "American sniper." Station secretary Ghufran al-Bakri told the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) that Ouda was returning home from an assignment at around 5 p.m. local time.

Maj James C Hall, a military spokesman, told CPJ that military operations have been ongoing in the area and that the incident was under investigation, although he declined to provide specific details. In a subsequent email statement, Hall said "coalition forces only engage hostile threats and take every precaution to protect innocent civilians. We have not confirmed that any Iraqi civilians were killed as a result of this operation." The statement alleged that "all involved in this incident were emplacing IEDs or supporting that effort."

CPJ is investigating the shooting.

"We are deeply troubled by this shooting and call on US authorities to swiftly investigate this matter and to publicly detail their findings as soon as possible," said CPJ Senior Programme Coordinator Joel Campagna.

Ouda had a degree in journalism and had worked as a cameraman for 10 years, according to staff at the channel. He joined Afaq TV in 2006.

CPJ is also investigating the circumstances surrounding the reported death of Al-Sharq newspaper reporter Haidar Hashim al-Husseini, whose body was found on Wednesday in a field in Diyala province along with other dead bodies. Al-Husseini was seized on Tuesday outside his home, Reuters said. His body was bound and had a single bullet wound to the head.

According to CPJ 127 journalists and 50 media support staffers have been killed in Iraq since the US-led invasion in March 2003. About 90 per cent of media deaths have been Iraqis.

Date posted: May 23, 2008 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 322