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Killers gouge out eyes of Jordanian in Iraq
Updated: 2004-07-17 21:36

Insurgents shot and killed a Jordanian truck driver in western Iraq on Saturday and then gouged out his eyes and left his body lying by the side of the road, witnesses and police said.

The driver, identified as Ayid Nassir, a Jordanian father of two, was carrying supplies from Amman to Baghdad when he was attacked outside the town of Ramadi, 65 miles west of Baghdad, at about 6 a.m. (2200 EDT Friday).

Reuters Television pictures showed at least seven bullet holes in the windshield of his yellow Mercedes truck and others in the body of the vehicle. The driver was hit at least four times, including two wounds each to his head and chest.

Pictures taken at a Ramadi hospital shortly after the attack showed that he had also had his eyes gouged out using a sharp instrument. Truck drivers traveling with Nassir's convoy said the mutilation took place after he was shot dead.

"The poor man. He was working for himself, just trying to make a living," said a policeman at the scene.

Truck drivers are regularly attacked on the desert highway from Jordan to Baghdad, which passes close to the towns of Ramadi and Falluja, violent and insecure places essentially under the control of Sunni Muslim insurgents.

U.S. forces have a presence on the outskirts of Ramadi and Falluja, but have avoided going into them since pulling back afer a month of heavy urban clashes in April and early May.

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