Radio Free Iraq reporter Khalaf, who was kidnapped April 3 from Baghdad’s Yarmouk district, was found dead in the city’s Al-Jamia neighborhood on April 5, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and CPJ sources. Police received an anonymous call informing them that there was a body on the street. They came under heavy fire by unidentified assailants when they went to retrieve the body, according to RFE/RL and CPJ sources.
RFE/RL reported that an unidentified caller used Khalaf’s cell phone to contact her family, but no demands for ransom were made. Khalaf had received prior threats, according to RFE/RL. It was not clear if the threats were directly work-related.
Khalaf had reported on social and cultural life in Iraq for Radio Free Iraq since 2004, according to a statement by RFE/RL. Radio Free Iraq is the Arabic language service of RFE/RL in Iraq, broadcasting from the network’s headquarters in Prague, Czech Republic.