Mahmud Zaal, a correspondent for Baghdad Television, was killed on Tuesday while working in the Khalidiya area, about 20km east of Ramadi, said his station deputy director Thair Ahmad.

The circumstances surrounding the killing were not immediately clear.

No details were immediately available from the US military.

Dr Hamdi al-Dulaimi, head of the mortuary at Ramadi Hospital, said the journalist died on the spot after being shot many times.

Scene

Nearby, Ramadi was also the scene of fierce fighting on Tuesday.

US warplanes and helicopters were seen repeatedly flying over the city, and the top section of a four-storey building was destroyed as a result of an unknown explosion, witnesses said.

Heavy machine-gun clashes rattled throughout the city and joint US-Iraqi armoured patrols drove through narrow streets.

Ramadi is the capital of the vast Anbar province, long a hotbed of anti-US activity and the scene of repeated bomb attacks against US-led forces.