Amjad Hameed

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Hameed and his driver Anwar Turki were shot and killed by gunmen apparently affiliated with al-Qaeda in an ambush in central Baghdad. Hameed had been head of programming for Iraq’s state television channel Al-Iraqiya since July 2005.

Hameed, 45, the father of three children, had just left home for work when he was shot several times in the head and chest. Al-Iraqiya, which receives funding from the U.S. government, suspended regular programming and aired verses from the Quran after the widely condemned attack.

Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Iraq claimed responsibility for the attack in Internet postings, but those claims could not be independently verified. “Your brothers in the military wing of the Mujahedeen Council assassinated on Saturday Amjad Hameed, the editor of Iraqiya … which always broadcasts lies about jihad to satisfy crusader masters,” said a statement posted on a Web site often used by militant groups and attributed to the group, Reuters reported. According to the statement, the station was “the mouthpiece of the apostate government.”

About two dozen employees of the state-run Iraq Media Network, which includes Al-Iraqiya, had been killed in the war, most by insurgents. Al-Iraqiya offices had repeatedly come under mortar attack.