The two Reuters staff members, both of them Iraqis, were killed when troops on an American helicopter shot into the area where the two had just gotten out of their car, said witnesses who spoke to an Agence France-Presse photographer who arrived at the scene shortly after their bodies were taken away.
The Reuters employees were Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, a photographer, and Saeed Chmagh, 40, a driver.
"When we reached the spot where Namir was killed, the people told us that two journalists had been killed in an air attack an hour earlier," said Ahmad Sahib, the Agence France-Presse photographer, who had been traveling in a car several blocks behind Mr. Noor-Eldeen but was delayed by the chaos in the area. He said he was in touch with Mr. Noor-Eldeen by cellphone until his colleague was killed.
"They had arrived, got out of the car and started taking pictures, and people gathered," Mr. Sahib said. "It looked like the American helicopters were firing against any gathering in the area, because when I got out of my car and started taking pictures, people gathered and an American helicopter fired a few rounds, but they hit the houses nearby and we ran for cover."
The above is from Alissa J. Rubin's "2 Iraqi Journalists Killed as U.S. Forces Clash With Militias" in this morning's New York Times. Rubin also reports that 28 corpses were discovered in Baghdad on Thursday and that the bank robbery figures from Wednesday night's robbery have been revised to "282 million Iraqi diners, equal to about $225,ooo and $366,000 American dollars."
The two Reuters journalists were killed yesterday in Baghdad. Already today, news of another reporter's death. From Reuters:
An Iraqi reporter working for The New York Times was shot dead on his way to work in Baghdad on Friday, the newspaper said.
The killing of Khalid Hassan, 23, came a day after a photographer and driver working for Reuters were killed in the city in what witnesses said was a U.S. helicopter attack but which the military described as a firefight with insurgents.
Reuters also notes, "Two children were killed and six wounded by a roadside bomb near a bus station in the southern city of Samawa, police said." And that the two children killed are among the 22 killed today plus 3 corpses discovered in Sawayra for a total of 25 reported deaths thus far today. The figure rises to 26 when the New York Times reporter is included. Good thing Bully Boy says that things are progressing, right?
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alissa j. rubin