New York, May 18, 2007—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns Thursday’s murder of two ABC News journalists by unidentified gunmen in Baghdad. Gunmen in two cars ambushed and killed cameraman Alaa Uldeen Aziz, 33, and soundman Saif Laith Yousuf, 26, on their way home from the network’s Baghdad bureau, ABC News reported.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our colleagues and extend our sympathies to their family and friends,” CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said. “This senseless attack underscores why Iraq remains the most dangerous assignment in the world. No journalist is safe in covering this story, especially local Iraqi reporters who have suffered the brunt of media casualties.”
ABC News said Aziz leaves behind a wife and two daughters, while Yousuf was set to marry his fiancée in the coming weeks.
In January 2006, ABC’s Bob Woodruff, then co-anchor of “World News Tonight,” and cameraman Doug Vogt were seriously wounded in a bomb attack while traveling with the Iraqi army near Baghdad.
At least 104 journalists, including Aziz and Yousuf, and 39 media support staffers have been killed in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, making Iraq the deadliest conflict for the press in CPJ’s 26-year history. About four in five journalist deaths there have been Iraqis.