Aljazeera Channel announces with a heavy heart the death of Rashid Hamid Wali, a member of its team covering events in the Iraqi southern city of Karbala.
Rashid passed away during the early hours of the morning (approximately 00:45 Baghdad time, 08:45 GMT) as a result of a bullet that hit him in the left eye, exiting the back of the head, shattering it in the process.
The fateful incident took place while an Aljazeera team, positioned on the rooftop of the Khaddam Al Hussain Hotel, was covering fierce fighting between US forces and elements of al-Mahdi army.
Rashid was hit by a single bullet when he stuck his head looking down onto the street after hearing the sound of US armoured vehicles moving.
No verifiable information was immediately available as to the source of the bullet that led to Rashid’s untimely death, however, eyewitnesses showed members of the media corps samples of the bullets that hit the vicinity of the hotel rooftop.
Aljazeera extends its heartfelt
condolences to the Rashid family
The late Rashid was 44 years of age, and leaves behind a widow and six children, the eldest of which is 16 years of age. Rashid joined Aljazeera in March of last year and soon became one of the most active and daring members of Aljazeera’s field teams, commanding respect, appreciation and love from his colleagues.
This unfortunate episode is the second that Aljazeera has suffered in Iraq in just over one year. It comes on heels of the death of Tariq Ayoub who died in the course of pursuing his professional duty on 8 April 2003 when the Aljazeera Baghdad bureau was hit by a US air to surface missile one day before the fall of Baghdad.
Aljazeera urgently calls on the US occupation forces and the CPA to immediatley conduct a full investigation into the death of Rashid Hamid Wali, and to make the result public.
Aljazeera extends to Rashid’s family and his colleagues its heartfelt condolences.
The Channel further reiterates its commitment to its professional integrity and adherence to its editorial policy stipulating covering events in a comprehensive and balanced fashion.
This is borne out of Aljazeera’s belief in the right of people all over the world for accurate information and freedom of expression.