January 25, 2006, in Ramadi, IraqZa'al, 35, a correspondent for Baghdad TV, was shot during clashes between U.S. forces and Sunni rebels in Ramadi, an insurgent stronghold 70 miles (110 kilometers) west of Baghdad.
Reuters quoted witnesses as saying Za'al was covering an insurgent attack on two U.S.-held buildings when he was wounded in the legs and then killed moments later in a U.S. air strike. The U.S. military denied it had launched an air strike in Ramadi that day and declined comment on the clashes or Za'al's death, the agency reported.
Staff at Baghdad TV told CPJ that U.S. soldiers briefly questioned Za'al 15 minutes before he was shot.
Staff said several of the station's correspondents had been detained by U.S. troops in the preceding few months. Baghdad TV is owned by the Iraqi Islamic Party, the biggest Sunni political group. Za'al had worked for the station for one year.
In another case involving combat reporting in Ramadi, Dhia Najim, a freelance cameraman working for Reuters, was shot in the head by a U.S. sniper on November 1, 2004, according to his colleagues.
Job: Broadcast Reporter
Beats Covered: War
Local or Foreign: Local
Type of Death: Crossfire/Combat-Related
Suspected Source of Fire: Military Officials