Contributor Killed in Iraq

Iraqi journalist Alaa Hassan, who reported for the international news agency IPS (Inter Press Service) and whose work often appeared on, was shot and killed in Baghdad.

Hassan was killed on June 28 by armed men as he drove to work. It appears he was not targeted, but was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, part of the senseless violence engulfing Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.

Hassan was one of IPS’s contributors based in Iraq. With colleague Aaron Glantz, he covered the increasing violence and sectarian divisions swallowing up Basra in the south of Iraq; the untold stories of Haditha, raided by the U.S. Army last year; and the local reactions over the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian-born leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Originally from Babylon, in central Iraq, Hassan was living in Baghdad, where he leaves behind a new wife who is pregnant with their first child.

Alaa Hassan’s death brings the total of reporters and media staff killed in Iraq since the beginning of the U.S.-led war to 131, according to the International Federation of Journalists.

“The death of another Iraqi journalist fills us with sorrow and anger,” said IFJ general secretary Aidan White in a statement Wednesday.

The IFJ called on the Iraqi government to “act quickly to bring the killers to justice.”

(Inter Press Service)