Shinsuke Hashida and his nephew Kotaro Ogawa, both freelance journalists, were killed along with their translator when their car came under attack by Iraqi gunmen near Mahmoudiya, 20 miles (30 kilometers) south of the capital, Baghdad, according to news reports.
Bangkok-based freelancer Hashida and Ogawa had been traveling to Baghdad
from the southern city of Samawah, where Japan deployed hundreds of
troops, when the attack occurred. Agence France-Presse listed the
translator as Mohamed Najmedin.
The Associated Press reported that the men were working for the Japanese
tabloid daily Nikkan Gendai covering Japanese troops stationed
in the southern city of Samawah. Japanese TV channel NHK reported
that the two journalists had also worked for several other Japanese
According to press reports, the journalists’ car burst into flames
after the attack. AFP and Reuters reported that the car was hit by
rocket-propelled grenade fire. The driver, an Iraqi who survived the
attack, told NHK that he was able to exit the car before it exploded.
Hashida’s body was badly burned in the fire. The AP reported that
Ogawa’s body was found six miles (10 kilometers) from the wreck. Japanese
press reports said that Ogawa might have been executed by the gunmen
after fleeing or being taken away from the scene.
Hashida was an experienced journalist who had covered several conflicts
as a TV reporter, according to Japanese media reports.