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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 January, 2004, 18:14 GMT
Two CNN staff die in Iraq ambush
Humvee jeep in Iraq (archive)
Witnesses saw US soldiers in a burning jeep in Khaldiya
Two CNN employees have been killed in a drive-by shooting on the southern outskirts of the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

A statement from the US television network named the two victims as translator/producer Duraid Isa Mohammed and driver Yasser Khatab.

A gunman fired at them with an AK-47 rifle, standing through the sunroof of a car which ambushed them from behind.

Earlier, the US military said a roadside bomb had killed three US soldiers in Khaldiya, west of Baghdad.

The device exploded as a US Humvee jeep passed through Khaldiya, setting vehicles ablaze and also wounding one American and several Iraqis.

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The area around Khaldiya, 70 kilometres (50 miles) from Baghdad, has seen regular attacks on coalition forces.

Two Iraqi civilians also died but it is unclear if they were killed by the explosion or shots fired afterwards.

Local people said two bombs had exploded - one as a convoy passed and a second when reinforcements arrived.

A nurse in the hospital identified the two dead Iraqis as the town's director of agriculture and a taxi driver.

In the attack on the CNN film crew, at least five shots hit the lead car in a two-car convoy returning to Baghdad from an assignment in the southern city of Hilla.

Cameraman Scott McWhinnie was grazed by a bullet in the attack.

The assailants' car then spun round in the middle of the road, CNN witnesses said.

Within 15 minutes, the lead car reached an Iraqi police station and officers later found the other car with the bodies of Mohammed and Khatab, which had left the highway.

The two men had been working for the network for a year, a CNN statement said.




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The BBC's Mike Wooldridge
"We don't know the scale of casualties yet"



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