Several gunmen in two vehicles attempted to abduct al-Dhahir, 49, managing editor of the Baghdad daily Al-Mashreq, at 8:30 a.m. while he waited outside his home in Baghdad's Al-Jamia neighborhood for the paper's car to pick him up for work, according to sources at the paper. After a struggle, the sources said, the gunmen shot al-Dhahir six times in the back and once in the head.
Al-Mashreq is a privately owned, widely read Baghdad newspaper that publishes commentary critical of the government, according to local journalists. The paper had received numerous warnings to stop publishing, local journalists said. Al-Dhahir worked nearly four years for the paper.