Iraqi gunmen kill two Japanese journalists


Gunmen have killed two Japanese freelance journalists in an attack that took place yesterday south of Baghdad.

The Japanese foreign ministry said the two men were Mr Shinsuke Hashida (61), a well-known freelance journalist, and his nephew, Mr Kotaro Ogawa (33).

The Japanese embassy in Baghdad was told of the attack by a relative of the driver, who was hospitalised after being wounded in yesterday's attack, Japanese officials said.

The deaths bring to five the number of Japanese deaths in Iraq since the US-led invasion last year and the first since Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi sent troops to help rebuild Iraq.

Two diplomats were killed in November when their car was attacked near Saddam Hussein's home town of Tikrit.