2 Iraqis Working for U.S. Media Killed

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By: Bassem Mroue, Associated Press Writer

(AP) A translator working for Time magazine died of gunshot wounds Friday, and an ABC News cameraman was fatally shot during a battle between insurgents and U.S. troops west of Baghdad, their companies said.

Omar Hashim Kamal, an Iraqi who worked with Time’s Baghdad operation, was shot and seriously wounded while on his way to an assignment early Wednesday, a Time spokesman said. He died Friday at a hospital in Baghdad.

Also Friday, Burhan Mohammed Mazhour, an Iraqi cameraman for ABC, died of gunshot wounds while covering a firefight in the city of Fallujah, ABC News President David Westin said in a statement.

“We are trying to confirm all the details surrounding his death and have asked the U.S. military for an investigation,” Westin said. Mohammed, 34, had been working as a freelance cameraman for ABC News in Fallujah for about two months.

Kamal, 48, joined Time after the fall of Baghdad in April, and had received threats recently, the Time spokesman said on condition of anonymity.

“We are currently reassessing our security in Iraq much like other news organizations,” the spokesman told The Associated Press by telephone.

Earlier this month, Selwan Abdelghani Medhi al-Niemi, an Iraqi who worked as a freelance translator in Baghdad for the Voice of America, was shot to death by unknown assailants while driving home from a relative’s house. Also killed were his mother and young daughter.

Before dawn Wednesday, attackers fired a rocket that hit the Sheraton Hotel in Baghdad, where foreign contractors and journalists stay. The rocket hit a sixth-floor ledge. There were no casualties.

In recent weeks, some foreign journalists who were staying in houses around the city have moved to well-protected hotels for fear of attacks.

Insurgents have been targeting Iraqis who work with the American occupation authorities, viewing them as collaborators. The same thinking may be behind the attacks on Iraqis working for foreign media.

Kamal, the Time translator, is survived by his wife and their 4-year-old son. Mazhour was married and had no children.

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