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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 November 2006, 15:14 GMT
Murdered Iraqi TV comedian buried
Iraq funeral (file image)
Mr Hasan's body was taken from Yarmouk hospital to Najaf
The funeral of an Iraqi television comedian who made fun of corrupt politicians, insurgents and coalition forces has taken place in Najaf.

Walid Hassan, the Shia Muslim star of al-Sharqiyah TV's sketch show Caricature, was killed in western Baghdad on Monday.

Mr Hassan was shot dead by unknown gunmen while driving to work through the city's Yarmouk district.

His killing was the latest in a series of attacks on Iraqi broadcasters.

"He was an actor who made fun of the miserable situation in our country," a grieving fan told Associated Press news agency.

"But some people don't like that, so he was assassinated to silence him," he added.

Mr Hassan's coffin was tied to the top of a taxi for the 160km (100 mile) journey from Baghdad to the Shia holy city of Najaf.

Comic relief

Mr Hassan was one of five actors to star in the weekly satirical programme Caricature.

Correspondents say Mr Hassan's sketch show gave the Iraqi people some much-needed comic relief as it lampooned the grim reality of daily life in the country.

Everything from corrupt and ineffectual police to long queues for fuel were targets for the programme's satirical humour.

Other broadcasters and journalists working in the Iraqi media have voiced their fears of attack.

"We feel we're all at risk," an unnamed al-Sharqiyah journalist told the Reuters news agency.

"We are all thinking of quitting the station."




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18 Mar 06 |  Middle East

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