Mijthab’s body was found in Baghdad’s main morgue four days after he was abducted by armed men. Mijthab, who worked with the government-run daily Al-Sabah, suffered bullet wounds to the head, the independent news agency Voices of Iraq reported. There was no claim of responsibility.
Insurgent and other armed groups have frequently targeted Al-Sabah and other state-run media because of their ties to the U.S.-supported Iraqi government. The New York Times reported that Mijthab could have been targeted by Shiite groups because of his past work for state-run media under the former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Mijthab, like many of the newspaper’s employees, had received numerous telephone threats while working at Al-Sabah, the paper reported.
Gunmen in three vehicles intercepted Mijthab, 53, as he was traveling to work in Baghdad’s eastern Shiite neighborhood of Al-Habibiya. Mijthab, who was with his eldest son and a driver, was ordered out of the vehicle at gunpoint, according to the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, an Iraqi press freedom organization. Mijthab was taken to an unknown location; his son and the driver were not seized.