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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 February, 2005, 19:29 GMT
TV reporter gunned down in Iraq
Iraqi police examine the car in which Abdul Hussein Khazal and his son were killed
The journalist and his son were killed as they left their Basra home
At least nine people have been killed in another day of violence in Iraq, including a correspondent for a US-funded Arabic TV station.

The journalist from al-Hurra channel, set up by the US in 2004 to compete with pan-Arab stations, was killed in Basra with his son.

Those killed on Wednesday also included police officers and a senior official.

Meanwhile, Iraqi election officials said the final result would be delayed while some ballots were recounted.

Mainly Sunni militants have been waging a campaign of violence, with frequent attacks against US-led and Iraqi forces.

Abdul Hussein was a dedicated and respected journalist
Mouafac Harb
Al-Hurra news director
Journalist Abdul Hussein Khazal, 40, and his three-year-old son, Muhammad, were killed as they left their house in Basra at 0900 local time (0600 GMT).

As well as working as a correspondent for al-Hurra and Iraq's Radio Sawa, Khazal was the head of the press service at Basra city council, editor of a Basra newspaper and a member of the Shia Dawa Party.

Mouafac Harb, vice president and news director for al-Hurra, said: "Abdul Hussein was a dedicated and respected journalist, who was an integral part of the al-Hurra and Radio Sawa team.

"He will be truly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time."

Official kidnapped

The al-Hurra network, set up with a $62m grant from US Congress to rival stations like al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya, was launched with the aim of promoting democracy and winning over public opinion in the Arab world to the US point of view. But some Muslim clerics have denounced its output as propaganda.

An unconfirmed report suggested a previously unknown militant group, the Imam al-Hassan al-Basri Brigades, had claimed the killing of Khazal and his son in a statement posted on a website.

US soldiers on patrol in Mosul
The US military said a soldier had been shot dead on patrol in Mosul

In a separate incident on Wednesday, a director in the ministry of culture and housing was shot dead as he drove through the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

Gunmen also abducted a senior interior ministry official, named as Colonel Riyadh Katei Aliwi, as he drove through the south of the capital.

Two other people are said to have been killed in a shooting in one of Baghdad's most troubled neighbourhoods, near Haifa Street.

US forces have closed off the area, according to the Iraqi al-Sharqiya television station, which said vehicles carrying foreigners had been targeted.

Ballots checked

Near the city of Samarra, four Iraqi policemen were killed by a roadside bomb.

Meanwhile, a US soldier was killed by small arms fire while on patrol in the northern city of Mosul on Sunday, the US military said on Wednesday.

A second US soldier was shot dead north of Baghdad on Tuesday, a spokesman confirmed.

Iraq's Electoral Commission had been due to announce the landmark election result on Thursday, but has now said this deadline will be put back to later in the month.

Spokesman Farid Ayar said about 300 ballot boxes were being checked, but did not confirm where they were from.

Partial election results suggest the Shia United Iraqi Alliance list is in the lead, with a coalition of Kurdish parties in second place.

Khazal was also head of the press service in Basra

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