ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi media reported on Thursday that unidentified gunmen in Baghdad shot dead an Iraqi member of a media crew working for a US-based Arabic-language television station.
Local media reports quoted sources as saying that "armed individuals" killed Samer Ali, an employee of Alhurra-Iraq, a satellite news channel headquartered in central Baghdad.
Police later found the body of Ali lying on the side of an eastern highway of the capital that overlooks the sprawling Sadr City neighborhood.
According to other media workers familiar with Ali, he was an assistant cameraman for Alhurra-Iraq, which has yet to comment on the incident.
Sources told Kurdistan 24 that Ali had sustained multiple gunshots to the head and said that police had opened an investigation into the incident and had taken his body to a forensic facility.
Other sources specified that the attackers had, after shooting him, taken his money and car.
There was no immediate official comment from the Interior Ministry or Baghdad Operations Command about the investigation or whether the attackers' motives are suspected to be in connection with Ali's employment.
The Iraqi Center For Supporting Freedom of Speech condemned the killing, calling on Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi to "urgently" open a "real" investigation into the case to bring the "criminals to justice."
Iraq remains one of the most dangerous countries in the world for media workers and journalists, with media rights organizations reporting that at least 455 Iraqi journalists have been killed since the fall of the former Iraqi regime in 2003.
Editing by John J. Catherine