Two workers of U.S.-backed Iraqi TV shot dead

Dispatch - Iraq

A correction was made to this article on Apr. 26, 2004.

BAGHDAD – U.S. troops shot to death two employees of U.S.-funded TV station Al-Iraqiya on April 19 and wounded a third in the central city of Samara, the station said.

Correspondent Asaad Kadhim and driver Hussein Saleh were killed. Cameraman Jassem Kamel was wounded “after American forces opened fire on them while they were performing their duty,” the station announced.

The station, which is funded by the Pentagon, interrupted its broadcasts to announce the deaths and aired Koranic texts as a symbol of mourning.

The U.S. military had no immediate comment.

Al-Iraqiya began broadcasting on May 13, set up under a Defense Dept. contract. The Iraq Media Network, which runs Al-Iraqiya and two Baghdad radio stations, was conceived during the State Dept.’s war preparations.

On March 18, U.S. troops shot dead correspondent Ali al-Khatib and cameraman Ali Abdel-Aziz of the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya news station. At least 24 Iraqi and foreign journalists and media workers have been killed during the Iraq war and its aftermath, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists’ Web site.

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