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Iraqi TV Journalist Killed While Covering Battle

Baghdad Television's Mahmoud Zaal was covering a battle between insurgents and U.S. troops (file photo) (CTK) 25 January 2006 -- An Iraqi television journalist was killed today while reporting on fighting between U.S. troops and insurgents in western Iraq.

Senior management at Baghdad Television say their correspondent, Mahmoud Zaal, was gunned down in crossfire in the Khalidiyah area, near the western Iraqi city of Al-Ramadi.

Also today, in Baghdad, popular Iraqi television personality Nagham Abdul-Zahra suffered minor injuries after leaping off her second-floor balcony to escape kidnappers. The kidnappers fled when Abdul-Zahra started screaming.

Elsewhere in the capital, Iraqi police gunned down a Sunni cleric at a checkpoint. It's not clear what provoked the shooting.

And a report quoting witnesses says that a car bomb exploded in Baghdad, causing casualties.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Shi'ite leaders began talks with Sunni and Kurdish representatives on forming a national unity government.

(AP, dpa, Reuters)