Custodian Hatem and security guards Mohamed Abd al-Kareem Hadi al-Bayati and Aysar Mahmoud Hamid Zankana were killed when a suicide bomber detonated explosives in a vehicle in front of Al-Arabiya offices about 9:25 a.m.
The bureau was destroyed, said Tareq Maher, an Al-Arabiya journalist who was inside the building during the blast. The head of the army’s explosives unit, Maj. Gen. Jihad al-Jaabari, told Al-Arabiya that the car was carrying about 280 pounds (128 kilograms) of ammonium nitrate.
The New York Times reported that Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia claimed responsibility for the bombing, saying it was in response to a critical Al-Arabiya report about the group’s influence. Hatem, a mother of five and a longtime member of the Al-Arabiya staff, had survived a 2003 attack on Al-Arabiya’s Baghdad bureau, according to the station’s website.