Two Iraqi journalists working for ABC News in Baghdad were ambushed and killed as they drove home from work, the television network announced Friday.
The attack took place Thursday afternoon, when unknown assailants attacked the car carrying cameraman Alaa Uldeen Aziz, 33, and soundman Saif Laith Yousuf, 26, from the network’s Baghdad bureau, ABC News President David Westin said in a statement posted on the ABC News Web site.
Journalists have been frequently targeted by violence in Iraq. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists has recorded 102 journalists and 39 media support workers killed and 48 journalists abducted since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
Those numbers do not include those killed in the latest attack.
Last week, three journalists were killed along with their driver in a drive-by shooting near the northern city of Kirkuk. Gunmen also stormed the offices of the independent Radio Dijla in a predominantly Sunni area in western Baghdad earlier this month, killing two employees.
ABCnews.com reports further today, as follows.
On “Good Morning America” this morning, ABC’s Terry McCarthy said that Aziz and Yousuf were traveling home when they were stopped by two cars full of gunmen and forced to exit their car. The two were then unaccounted for overnight and their deaths were confirmed this morning, McCarthy said.
“They are really our eyes and ears in Iraq,” McCarthy said of the contribution of the Iraqis. “Without them we are blind and we cannot see what’s going on….
“Today we’ve lost two family members, and it really hurts,” McCarthy said.
Alaa Uldeen Aziz is survived by his wife, his two daughters and his mother. Saif Laith Yousuf leaves behind his fiancee, his mother and brothers and sisters.