Reuters photographer and driver killed in Iraq

An Iraqi photographer and driver working for Reuters in Iraq have been killed in Baghdad, the agency said.

Photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, and driver Saeed Chmagh, 40, were killed in eastern Baghdad at a time when clashes had been taking place between U.S. forces and militants in the area.

Four other Reuters staff – Taras Protsyuk and Mazen Dana, Dhia Najim and Waleed Khaled – have been killed in Iraq since the US-led invasion of 2003.

The cause of the two men’s deaths was unclear. Witnesses spoke of an explosion in the area, and Iraqi police said either a U.S. air strike or a mortar attack had occurred.

Reuters editor-in-chief David Schlesinger said he was “personally shocked and sadden by today’s news”.

“The job our reporters do is a critical one – telling the world what is happening on the streets of Iraq on a daily basis. Reuters will continue to do all that it can to protect journalists who must work in dangerous and difficult conditions but still have a right to do their jobs,” Schlesinger said.

“Today my thoughts, and the thoughts of all Reuters employees are with the families.’

According to the Paris-based press freedom advocacy group Reporters Without Borders, Iraq is the most dangerous country in the world for journalists to work.

At least 191 journalists and media assistants have been killed in Iraq since the invasion, according to RSF. A further two are missing and 14 have been kidnapped.

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