Editor of Baghdad weekly paper murdered

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BAGHDAD, Oct 30 (Reuters) The editor of a Baghdad weekly newspaper was murdered at the weekend, Iraq's Journalistic Freedoms Observatory said today.

The Iraqi non-governmental organisation said Shehab Mohammed al-Hiti, a Sunni Arab editor of the al-Youm newspaper, was last seen leaving his home in the western Baghdad neighbourhood of Jamiaa on Saturday.

He was heading for the newspaper's office in the centre of the capital.

Iraqi security forces found his body later that day in the northern Baghdad district of Ur, which is a Shi'ite neighbourhood.

In a statement the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory did not say how he had been killed.

Many journalists in Iraq have faced threats from Sunni Arab militants and Shi'ite militias. Others have been killed by US forces while reporting in the country.

The New-York based Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the weekend killing.

''Journalists continue to be killed in Iraq at an alarming rate, underscoring the risks of practising what has become one of the deadliest professions in the country,'' CPJ executive director Joel Simon said in a statement.

At least 122 journalists and 41 media support staff have been killed in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, the CPJ says.

About 85 per cent of those killed were Iraqis.

REUTERS SG AS1554

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