Saif M. Fakhry, an Associated Press Television News cameraman, was shot twice
and killed in the turmoil in Amariyah on Thursday. Fakhry, 26, was the fifth AP
employee to die violently in the Iraq war and the third killed since December.
He was spending the day with his wife, Samah Abbas, who is expecting their
first child in June. According to his family, Fakhry was walking to a mosque
near his Amariyah home when he was killed. It was not clear who fired the shots.
The explosion in Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, came as residents
said al-Qaida is trying to regain control of the central Tahrir neighborhood
from the 1920 Revolution Brigades, a group composed of officials and soldiers
from the ousted regime who have allied themselves with local security forces
against the terror network.
Mustafa Hadi, a 30-year-old man who lives in the neighborhood, said the
insurgent group had set up several checkpoints and commandeered houses that have
been vacated by Shiites and others fleeing the violence.
"These soldiers use empty houses as resting places," he said. "At night they
ask the residents to light a bulb outside their homes to make it easy for them
to watch the area."
Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, the leader of Iraq's largest Shiite party, meanwhile,
returned to Baghdad from Iran after completing the first phase of his treatment
for lung cancer, according to the Web site of the Supreme Islamic Council of