Missing Iraqi journalist is found dead in Baghdad

The Baltimore Sun

BAGHDAD -- The managing editor of a government-run newspaper launched with U.S. funding after the fall of Saddam Hussein was found dead yesterday, the 85th Iraqi journalist to be killed since the war began.

The body of Filaih Wadi Mijthab of the daily Al Sabah was found in Baghdad on the day that a four-day-old curfew imposed after the bombing of a Shiite Muslim mosque in Samarra was lifted.

Five unidentified bodies were found yesterday.

Mijthab was kidnapped Wednesday by gunmen who intercepted his vehicle as he drove to work. Of the 107 journalists killed in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, at least 85 have been Iraqis, according to statistics compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists. Fourteen have been from the U.S.-funded Iraqi Media Network, which includes Al Sabah and state-run Iraqiya television.

Around the capital yesterday, U.S. troops stepped up efforts against insurgents linked to al-Qaida, part of a new offensive announced a day earlier in conjunction with the arrival of the last of 28,500 additional American troops sent to enforce President Bush's security plan.

Six suspected insurgents were killed during a shootout yesterday with U.S. forces in Baghdad, according to a military statement. Troops came under fire as they attempted to raid a building suspected of being involved in suicide bombing operations. The troops returned fire, killing the alleged insurgents. There were no reports of U.S. casualties.

Four suspected insurgents were killed during a raid in western Anbar province yesterday, the military announced.

Three U.S. soldiers were killed Saturday in Iraq, the military said.

The Iraqi government has accused groups linked to al-Qaida of being behind the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra. Iraqi officials imposed a curfew in Baghdad and Samarra, but after the lifting of the curfew in the capital yesterday, there were no immediate indications of new sectarian violence.

Tina Susman and Alexandra Zavis write for the Los Angeles Times.

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