Two Japanese reporters shot dead in Baghdad area as Polish army denies reports on abusing Iraqi detainees
A car carrying two freelance Japanese journalists and their translator and driver who are both Iraqis came under attack in a Baghdad suburb on Thursday and two of the passengers are believed to have been killed, the Foreign Ministry said Friday.
The two Japanese are believed to be Shinsuke Hashida, 61, who lives in Bangkok, and Kotaro Ogawa, 33, from the city of Tottori, the ministry said, according to Kyodo News. Ogawa is Hashida's nephew.
They were returning to Baghdad after visiting Samawah, where Japanese ground forces have been deployed, the ministry added.
The car burst into flames and the Iraqi driver was also wounded, according to diplomatic sources in Baghdad. The fate of the interpreter is unknown.
The wife of the injured driver said "two Asians" were killed.
They are believed to have been attacked around 30 kilometers south of Baghdad, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.
According to the ministry, the two Japanese were in the second car of a two-car convoy and the driver of the first vehicle reported the attack to the Japanese Embassy.
Meanwhile, some Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib said they were abused by troops from Poland and other countries, according to copies of statements to Army investigators obtained by The Associated Press.
The witness statements also included new and more detailed allegations of abuse by military intelligence soldiers, including a civilian interpreter's accusation that an Army interrogator forced a prisoner to walk naked through a cellblock.
Sgt. Antonio Monserrate, an Army interrogator, told investigators that two Iraqi captives had been "injured by the Polish Army."
On its part, the Polish army denied media reports on Friday that its troops had abused Iraqi detainees in their occupation zone in southern Iraq. "I categorically deny this," Colonel Zdzislaw Gnatowski, spokesman for Poland's general staff, told Reuters. (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)