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Middle East

British journalist killed outside Baghdad museum

| Sunday, July 6, 2003

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A British journalist was shot and killed outside the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad on Saturday, witnesses said.

The identity of the journalist, a free-lance television producer, was not immediately known. Fellow journalists, asking that their names not be used, said the male journalist was outside the museum when he was shot.

Britain's ITN television news said it believed the man previously had worked as a researcher for the network but was not employed by them when he was shot.

"We believe the man is someone who has previously worked for ITN, including during the Iraq war, but he was not employed by us out there at this time. He was free-lancing," a spokeswoman for ITN said on condition of anonymity.

The network declined to name the man, saying his next of kin had not been informed.

Ambushes, shootings and other attacks, blamed on loyalists of Saddam Hussein, have plagued American soldiers in Iraq in recent weeks -- but so far there has been no sign of journalists being explicitly targeted. An American soldier guarding the museum was shot and killed by a sniper on Thursday.

The British Foreign Office contacted in London confirmed that a man had been shot but said details were still sketchy.

"We are urgently investigating reports of a British free-lance journalist being shot today in Baghdad," a spokesman said.

The death brings to 16 the number of journalists killed in Iraq since the start of the war on March 20.

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