Iraq Journalist Killed in Heavy Traffic - 08.13.2007

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Video - Baghdad, Iraq - Suhad, 36, wanted to go to college and become a journalist since she was young. Her parents, like many, tried to dissuade their daughter from going into the arts, pushing her to take more science and math classes. Instead she studied English and became ever more interested in the international community.

She briefly held a job with the Washington Post, as well as Al-Atyaaf Radio, Al Iraqiyah, the state satellite channel, and when she was killed she had been working in the Green Zone at an office assisting with the distribution of social services to Iraqis.

Her parents describe her as a caring activist who took care of her family and looked closely after her young diabetic brother. February 4th, 2007, the day she was killed, was like any other, she was on her way to work and waiting in line at a checkpoint for the Green Zone.

The exact details are still unclear. Some reports claim there was a gun battle between US forces and militants near the checkpoint. Others accused foreign security contractors.

Security contractors have a particularly bad name, and in 2005 were accused by the Interior Minister of Iraq of klling at least 12 Iraqis per week, as well as firing on US military. This video illustrates contractors firing indiscriminately on civilians in Iraq.

According to a translation of Al Sharqiyah Television, “Iraqi police said that Suhad Shakir, an announcer in Al-Iraqiyah channel, was wounded when US forces opened fire on her car near the Foreign Ministry in central Baghdad. The US army said that it is verifying the truthfulness of the claim.”

Another source claimed that a “Foreign Military Patrol” opened fire on a civilian vehicle in the Allawi district. Reuters also reported that US forces “wounded Suhad Shakir, an anchor working for Iraqiya,” however at the time of her death she was no longer working for Iraqiya.

Suhad Shakir’s death is just one of many for journalists and civilians in Iraq. The confusing story surrounding her killing is illustrative of a daily threat to Iraqis driving around Baghdad. Journalist Chris Hondros provides more insight into the difficulties of Baghdad’s traffic in this blog entry from March 2007.

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