Source AP ©

Washington Post reporter murdered in Baghdad

An Iraqi correspondent of The Washington Post was shot to death in Baghdad.

Salih Saif Aldin, 32, who wrote under the name Salih Dehema for security reasons, was killed in the neighborhood of Sadiyah, according to a statement. It said details of the incident were still unclear.

Sadiyah is a former religiously mixed neighborhood in southwestern Baghdad that is now dominated by Shiites after most Sunnis were driven out by sectarian violence.

Aldin began working for the newspaper in early 2004 as a special correspondent in his hometown of Tikrit, 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of Baghdad, and later moved to the capital, "where he played an instrumental role of the Post's coverage of Iraq," the newspaper said.

A joint statement by the newspaper's Baghdad bureau chief Sudarsan Raghavan and assistant managing editor for foreign news David E. Hoffman noted the death was a reminder of the central role of Iraqi journalists in covering the war.

"They have often borne the risks and made the sacrifices in pursuit of truth. We grieve at Salih's loss, and that of all journalists killed in this conflict, and salute their determination and courage," the statement said.

Iraqi journalists working for local or international media frequently come under threats from insurgents because of their reporting or their affiliation with Western organizations.

Excluding Aldin's death, at least 118 journalists and 41 media support workers have been killed in Iraq since the war started in March 2003, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists.