An Associated Press Television News cameraman was shot twice and killed in Baghdad on Thursday while walking to a mosque near his home on his day off.
Saif M. Fakhry, 26, was the fifth AP employee to die violently in the Iraq war and the third killed since December.
“Our heartfelt sympathies go out to Saif’s wife and family and his colleagues in Iraq,” said AP President and CEO Tom Curley.
“This is a particularly dangerous time in a place that already is unimaginably dangerous. Saif’s death reminds us again of the risks and hardships that accompany vital frontline journalism and of the gratitude we all owe to those who do it.”
Family members said Fakhry, who worked for APTN since August 2004, was spending the day with his wife, Samah Abbas, who is pregnant with their first child and expecting in June.
According to his family, Fakhry was walking to a mosque in the Baghdad neighborhood of Amariyah when he was shot. Gunmen had been involved in fighting in the area around his home for two days, but it was not clear who fired the shots that killed Fakhry.
Fakhry, whose birthday would have been next week, graduated from a Baghdad high school and a city polytechnic college as a technician. He was a member of the Iraqi Union of Journalists. Fakhry worked for Dubai Television, Al Majd TV and CNBC before joining APTN.
He is survived by his mother, Yaldez Karim, as well as four brothers and a sister.