Driver and camera assistant Chmagh was killed along with photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen in eastern Baghdad during what witnesses described as a U.S. helicopter attack. The strike claimed the lives of 10 other Iraqis in the Al-Amin al-Thaniyah neighborhood, Reuters reported, citing a preliminary Iraqi police report.
Witnesses told Reuters that Noor-Eldeen and Chmagh arrived in the neighborhood about the time a U.S. helicopter fired on a minivan. Video footage showed that the minivan was destroyed, Reuters reported. Initial reports suggested that the air strike took place during clashes between U.S. forces and insurgents, but witnesses later said there were no clashes, according to Reuters.
The Multi-National Force-Iraq press desk in Baghdad did not respond to CPJ's telephone and e-mail inquiries seeking comment.