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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 08:23 PM
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Iraqi Times Reporter Murdered in Basra

September 19, 2005
Iraqi Working for Times Is Killed, Relatives Say


The journalist, Fakher Haider, 38, was found with his hands bound and a bag over his head in a deserted area on the outskirts of Basra, hours after being taken from his house. A relative who viewed his body in the city morgue said he had at least one bullet hole in his head and bruises on his back as if he had been beaten.


Mr. Haider is the second journalist to be killed in Basra in the past two months. In August, Steven Vincent, an American freelance reporter who was writing a book about the city, was abducted along with his Iraqi translator, and later found dead. Days earlier, Mr. Vincent had written an Op-Ed article for The Times in which he criticized the British security forces in the city for failing to act against the Shiite militias' growing power within the local police force.

On Sunday, Mr. Haider filed reports on the arrest by British forces of two high-ranking members of the Mahdi Army, the militia loyal to the renegade Shiite cleric Moktada al Sadr. Members of the Mahdi Army had rallied in protest earlier in the day, and threatened violence if the men were not released.


In recent months, Mr. Haider had confided to friends that he was worried about the increasingly violent atmosphere in Basra. In July, gunmen in a pickup truck chased his car and fired at him, and he narrowly escaped after driving off the road and firing his pistol into the air, he told one friend, who asked not to be identified.


Mr. Haider is survived by three children, aged 5, 7 and 9, in addition to his wife.

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