Killer of Al Arabiya reporter in Iraq confesses

Alleged killer confessed to raping Atwar Bahjat


The alleged killer of an Iraqi journalist who was kidnapped in the aftermath of a 2006 bombing that set off sectarian violence across Iraq, admitted to raping her before shooting her dead in a confession aired at an Iraqi army press conference on Tuesday.

Yasser al-Takhi and two brothers were shown confessing after being arrested for the kidnap and murder of Atwar Bahjat, a presenter on Al-Arabiya television, cameraman Adnan Abdallah and sound engineer Khaled Mohsen.

Major General Qassim Atta, spokesman for the Iraqi army's Baghdad operations, said the Takhi brothers were arrested in the southern Baghdad neighborhood of Dora but did not say when.

Takhi told interrogators that he and three others, including his brothers Mahmoud and Ghazwan, kidnapped the news team and drove them to a side street where he raped and shot Bahjat, while his two brothers killed Abdallah and Mohsen with a machine gun.

"We parked beside the main street, I asked the girl to step out and I told her, 'You are pretty and I like you, and I want to have sex with you," he said in the video, adding that Bahjat refused.

"But I put the pistol to her head, and I raped her.

"Ghazwan and Mahmoud, they killed the cameraman and the engineer with a BKC (machine gun). And then, I finished, took her and killed her."

Al Arabiya TV expressed gratitude to Iraqi security forces for investigating the crime and arresting the perpetrators t.

"We appreciate the efforts of Iraqi security to conduct the investigation into the rape and murder of our correspondent in Iraq, " Nasser al-Sirami, head of media at Al Arabiya said.