Senior army officer assassinated in Iraq

Iraqi insurgents have killed a senior army officer and his driver in Baquba, east of Baghdad.

Colonel Fadhil Mahmoud Jawad was ambushed by his attackers on Thursday morning, as he was being driven along the road to his office, in the Kanan neighbourhood. Senior officials from the government and security forces are frequently targets for the insurgents. However, in the last week three journalists have been murdered in Iraq in just four days.

On Tuesday, 40-year-old Firas Maadidi, Mosul bureau chief for As-Saffir and chief editor of the local daily Al-Masar, became the third journalist since Saturday to fall victim to insurgents. He was shot six times, including twice in the head, outside his home in the northern city of Mosul, and died later in hospital.

On Saturday, another As-Saffir journalist, reporter Hind Ismail, was shot dead. Fakher Haider, an Iraqi journalist working for The New York Times, was abducted on Sunday night and found dead on Monday.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists says 56 journalists have been killed since the US invaded Iraq in March 2003. Two-thirds were Iraqi, the AKI reports.

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