Source AP ©

Gunmen kill Iraqi journalists for The New York Times

An Iraqi journalist for The New York Times was killed Friday by gunmen who shot him as he headed into work, the newspaper said.

Khaled W. Hassan, 23, was slain in the southwest Baghdad district of Sadiyah, according to a statement from Times spokeswoman, Catherine Mathis.

He "was shot and killed on the way to work," the statement said. "The circumstances of the attack remain unclear at this time."

Hassan, who worked for the paper in Baghdad for four years, "was part of a large, sometimes unsung community of Iraqi news-gatherers, translators, and support staff, who take enormous risks every day to help us comprehend their country's struggle and torment," Bill Keller, the Times executive editor, said. "Without them, Americans' understanding of what is happening on the ground in Iraq would be much, much poorer."

His slaying came a day after two Iraqi staffers of the London-based Reuters news agency - a photographer and a driver - were killed by clashes between U.S. forces and Shiite mililtiamen in east Baghdad.