Journalist Enzo Baldoni and his unidentified driver were ambushed by gunmen while traveling outside Baghdad, according to news reports and CPJ sources. The two were reported missing on August 20. They were believed to be heading to the southern city of Najaf, where U.S. forces had battled with Shiite insurgents for several weeks.
Baldoni was held captive by a militant group calling itself the Islamic Army in Iraq, which demanded Italy withdraw its troops in exchange for the journalist's release. On August 26, the Qatar-based news channel Al-Jazeera said it received a video from the group that showed Baldoni had been killed.
The driver's whereabouts were not clear during that time. But officials from Iraq's interior ministry told CPJ that the driver's body was located on August 28 at a hospital in the Iraqi town of Iskandiryah. They said the victim had been shot to death and that his body had been burned.