By: E&P Staff
Khalid W. Hassan, 23, an interpreter and reporter in the Baghdad bureau of The New York Times, was shot and killed today, bureau chief, John F. Burns, reported. It came a day after two Reuters staffers were reported killed there.
Hassan had called the bureau and said his normal route to the office had been blocked by a security checkpoint. ?I?m trying to find another way,? he told the bureau staff, according to Burns.
He was the second Iraqi employee of the Times to be killed during the war.
Hassan was shot in the Seiydia district of south central Baghdad. “The circumstances remain unclear, Burns said. He had called his mother to say he’d been shot, and later the family called the bureau to say he had died.
His most recent reporting credit in the Times came on July 7.
Bill Keller, the executive editor of the Times, issued this statement: ?Khalid was part of a large, sometimes unsung, community of Iraqi news-gatherers, translators and support staff, who take enormous risks every day to help us comprehend their country?s struggle and torment.
?Without them, Americans? understanding of what is happening on the ground in Iraq would be much, much poorer. To The Times, Khalid was family, and his death is heartbreaking.?
The Times report continues as follows.
Mr. Hassan was one of the longest-serving local members of the bureau, having joined in the fall of 2003. He was of Palestinian descent; his family had fled to Iraq after the conflict with Israel in 1948. He lived with his mother and four sisters, all under the age of 18.
Fakher Haider, 38, a Times stringer in the city of Basra, was killed in similarly mysterious circumstances on Sept 19, 2005.
Mr. Burns described Mr. Hassan as ?a resourceful and brave member of our news team, who met the many professional and personal challenges of his four years on our staff with enduring good humor and optimism.?
He was to be buried later today in a cemetery in northeast Baghdad and a memorial service was scheduled in the bureau.
Over 100 journalists, most of them Iraqis, have been killed since the 2003 invasion, the Committee to Protect Journalists has reported.