Iraq: journalist’s family reported slain

Masked gunmen reportedly stormed the family home of a journalist associated with Saddam Hussein’s party and critical of the Iraqi government, killing 11 relatives as they ate breakfast in a Baghdad neighborhood known as a Shi’ite militia stronghold Nov. 26. Dhia al-Kawaz, editor of the Asawat al-Iraq news agency, was in Jordan when his two sisters, their husbands and seven children aged 5 to 10 were slain in north Baghdad’s Shaab district. The agency’s Web site reported witnesses saying more than five masked men broke into the home and opened fire, then planted a bomb inside. The Interior Ministry said it had no information about the attack, and local police refused to comment. (AP, Nov. 27)

Our last posts on Iraq and attacks on the press.

  1. Iraqi journalist’s family “safe”
    From BBC, Nov. 28:

    The family of an Iraqi journalist – who he claimed had been killed by gunmen in Baghdad – have appeared on Iraqi television, apparently safe and well.

    Dia al-Kawwaz, who lives in Jordan, said that several members of his family were killed by Shia gunmen on Sunday.

    But a taped report on the US-owned al-Hurra TV showed his family, none of whom seemed distressed or injured.

    Mr Kawwaz’ sisters denounced his actions, saying there had never been any sort of threat against them.

    One of his brothers-in-law suggested that he had made the story up for political reasons…

    Mr Kawwaz was unequivocal in accusing Shia militia men of carrying out the attack.