BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) – A television cameraman working for The Associated Press was killed Saturday when gunfire broke out after an explosion in the northern city of Mosul. An AP photographer was wounded in the same incident.

AP identified the victims, both Iraqis, as Associated Press Television News cameraman Saleh Ibrahim and photographer Mohamed Ibrahim, no relation to the deceased. Saleh Ibrahim was in his early 30s and was a father of five.

The circumstances of the death and injury remained unclear.

“We are grief-stricken at the news of Saleh Ibrahim’s death,” said AP President and CEO Tom Curley. “His fervent dedication to reporting the complete story of Iraq at this historic moment inspired all who knew and worked with him. Our deepest sympathy goes to his family.”

Curley said AP would “fully investigate this tragic happening so we can understand the circumstances under which it occurred.”

The explosion happened around 2:30 p.m. (6:30 a.m. EDT) near al-Yarmook circle in the city 225 miles north of Baghdad, according to other journalists who responded to the blast. The cause of the explosion was not immediately determined.

The two AP journalists drove to the scene together, according to a colleague at the scene as well. U.S. forces were in the area when they arrived, the colleague said.

Gunfire broke out, and both Saleh Ibrahim and Mohamed Ibrahim were hit, the colleague told the AP. The colleague’s employer asked that his name not be used because of fear for his safety.

Col. Wathiq Ali, the deputy police chief in Mosul, said the explosion targeted a U.S. patrol and injured two Iraqi civilians.

“The police did not interfere in that incident because the U.S. troops were there,” he said.

The colleague drove the two injured AP journalists to al-Jumhouri Educational Hospital.

Saleh Ibrahim was treated for three bullet wounds to the chest and died soon after arrival, Dr. Rabei Yassin said at the hospital. Mohamed Ibrahim was treated for shrapnel wounds to the back of the head, Yassin said.

While at the hospital, Mohamed Ibrahim was escorted away by U.S. forces and his whereabouts could not immediately be determined. The U.S. military said it was investigating.

Saleh Ibrahim brings to 28 the number of journalists who have lost their lives covering stories for the AP since the news cooperative was founded in 1848.

In addition, Ismail Taher Mohsin, an Iraqi driver who worked for the AP, was ambushed by gunmen and killed near his home in Baghdad last Sept. 2. The reasons for the slaying have never become clear.

AP-ES-04-23-05 1909EDT

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