Gunmen kill Iraqi TV journalist in Mosul, day after anchor for state TV gunned down in Baghdad

BAGHDAD (AP) — Gunmen on Wednesday killed an Iraqi TV journalist, the second to be slain in Iraq in as many days, highlighting the dangers media workers continue to face in the country seven years after the U.S.-led invasion.

While a number of foreign correspondents were killed in the years immediately following the invasion, Iraqi journalists are now the main target, especially photographers and TV journalists who are easier to spot, according to Reporters Without Borders, a Paris-based media watchdog.

The group released a report Tuesday entitled "The Iraq War: A Heavy Death Toll for the Media," which coincided with the killing of Riyad Assariyeh, an anchor at state-run Iraqiya TV.

Assariyah also served on Baghdad's Provincial Council. He was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in a western Baghdad neighborhood.

In the northern city of Mosul, Safaa Abdul-Hameed, a correspondent for a local TV station, was killed Wednesday morning near his home in the eastern part of the city. The gunmen shot him from a speeding car, police said.

Hameed, a father of six, had worked at al-Mousiliyah channel for a year, his colleagues said.

At least 230 media workers have been killed in Iraq since 2003, according to Reporters Without Borders. Of those killed, 172 were journalists. The rest were translators, drivers and assistants.

Also Wednesday, at least six people were killed in two separate bombings in Baghdad, police and hospital officials said.

In the first, three policemen and one civilian were killed when a parked car bomb exploded near a bus station in the southern Baiyaa neighborhood.

A second bomb targeting police and rescue services arriving at the blast site detonated minutes later. There were no reports on casualties from the second blast.

Two bombs also killed two people and wounded 12 more at a bus station in eastern Baghdad, health officials said.

Also, a suicide attacker detonated a car bomb at an Iraqi army checkpoint in Tarmiyah, 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Baghdad, killing three soldiers and wounding 12 others, police and Interior Ministry officials said.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Violence has dramatically subsided in Iraq since 2008, but insurgents still frequently strike with lethal force, targeting the country's security forces, government institutions and civilians.

In a separate development, a senior Iraqi military intelligence official said Wednesday that Iraq opened an investigation into an incident from the previous day when an Iraqi soldier opened fire on a group of American troops protecting one of their commanders during a visit to an Iraqi army base.

Two American soldiers were killed and nine others were wounded in the attack.

The two were the first U.S. servicemen to die since President Barack Obama declared an end to combat operations in Iraq last week.

The initial findings show that the assailant was a Kurdish member of Iraq's special forces and has participated in joint patrols and raids with U.S. troops, the Iraqi official said.

The U.S. military said in a statement on Wednesday it was investigating Tuesday's shooting and called the attack a "deliberate act."

The names of the two slain soldiers were being withheld until their families were notified.


Associated Press writers Hamid Ahmed and Qassim Abdul-Zahra contributed to this report.

(This version CORRECTS the spelling of Baiyaa).)