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US condemns 'murder' of Iraqi journalist in Iraq

Washington has called for the Iraqi government to launch an immediate probe into the "murder" of the Iraqi journalist Mohammed Bdaiwi, a statement by the US embassy in Baghdad said.


"The US Mission in Iraq condemns the murder of journalist Mohammed Bdaiwi Obaid Al-Shammari," the statement said. "We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and colleagues."

According to the statement, the embassy called for an immediate investigation into the killing of Bdaiwi. "We are deeply concerned about the circumstances surrounding his death," the statement said, "and we call on the Government of Iraq to conduct a full investigation into the incident."

In the same statement, the embassy called for holding the killer accountability for the crime saying; "We call for the government to hold the perpetrator of this criminal act to account."

"The killing of any innocent is to be deplored; the murder of a journalist is a particular affront because it strikes at a fundamental pillar of democracy – a free press," the statement added.

The embassy hailed the immediate Iraqi response on the incident, which was represented in the condemnation of the crime. "We welcome the statements of condemnation made by the Office of the President of Iraq and acknowledge the quick reaction of the Iraqi Security Forces," it said.

Bdaiwi is a professor of journalism in Baghdad University and the manager of Free Iraq radio, which broadcasts from Prague.

In response to the killing, tens of Iraqi journalists yesterday held a protest on the site where Bdaiwi was killed and later took part in his funeral procession.

During their protest, the journalists called for the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki to hold the criminals to account for their crime in order to deter others.

Al-Maliki ordered the arrest of the Kurdish soldiers who shot Bdaiwi. No motive has been found for the attack.

Some 267 journalists have been killed in Iraq since 2003, when the US carried out its occupation of the country claiming it would topple Saddam Hussein's authoritarian regime and destroy his nuclear weapons programme.

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