An American journalist, Steven Vincent, has been shot dead in Basra, southern Iraq. The police do not have any suppositions who the killer is.
Mr Vincent was abducted with his female Iraqi translator at gun point in a street in central Basra on Tuesday, according to BBC. Mr Vincent's bullet-riddled body was found on the side of a highway south of the city a few hours later.
"Both were later shot, but Vincent was killed, while the girl [translator] is alive," Lt Col Karim Al-Zaidi was quoted as saying by BBC.
Mr Vincent had been shot several times in the head and body, said Mr Zaidi.
The diplomat told Reuters the next of kin of Steven Vincent had been notified and an investigation was underway to determine who was behind the death.
His relatives have been informed and US officials are working with the UK military and Iraqi authorities to identify the killers.
An opinion piece he wrote criticizing the rise of Shiite Islamist fundamentalism in Basra was published in The New York Times four days ago. The article criticizes the failure of British forces to clamp down on what Vincent described as a city that was "increasingly coming under the control of Shi'ite religious groups, from the relatively mainstream ... to the bellicose followers of the rebel cleric Moqtada al-Sadr."