World News

CBS News translator abducted and killed in Iraq

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A translator for CBS News in Iraq has been found dead after being abducted from his home by eight to 10 armed men a week ago, CBS said on Monday.

Anwar Abbas Lafta, an Iraqi who had worked for CBS News for 10 months, was abducted on the evening of August 20 by men who entered his home, fought with him and his brother and shot his sister in the arm, CBS said in a statement.

His family received two ransom calls during the week, and then a cousin received a call from police that a body had been found on the north side of Sadr City, the large Shi’ite neighbourhood in Baghdad. The cousin identified the body, CBS said.

Some 112 journalists and now 41 media support workers have been killed in Iraq, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, which warns that the dangers to reporters in Iraq harm the information available to the public about the war.

More than 85 percent of those killed are Iraqis working for international news organization or Iraqi media, CPJ said.

“It can be a death sentence for an Iraqi journalist if it becomes known that he or she is working for an international news organization, yet they continue to provide this incredibly valuable service to news organizations and us as news consumers,” said Joel Campagna, CPJ’s program coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa.

Abbas, who was in his early 50s and was not married, had worked as a translator for the U.S. military in Iraq for about three years before joining CBS News. He was buried on Monday in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf, CBS said.

In May 2006, CBS News cameraman Paul Douglas and soundman James Brolan were killed by a car bomb in Baghdad. Correspondent Kimberly Dozier was seriously wounded in the same blast and has since recovered and returned to work.