Khamail Muhsin Khalaf was found dead in Baghdad on April 4 with a gunshot wound to her head. She had been missing for two days.
Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman Brigadier General Abdul Karim Khalaf told Radio Free Iraq today that authorities are determined to bring to justice those responsible for the killing:
"They are criminals, butchers, murderers," Khalaf said. "This martyr [Khamail Muhsin Khalaf], who served the country for more than 30 years -- we express condolences to her family first, and we express condolences to our journalist colleagues for her loss. And this is a vow from the Interior Ministry -- that those criminals will not escape justice, and soon we will bring them to justice to give them their punishment."
Khamail Muhsin Khalaf
DEDICATED JOURNALIST: On April 5, the worst fears of the family and acquaintances of RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq correspondent Khamail Muhsin Khalaf were realized when her body was recovered not far from her Baghdad home.
News of Khamail's death at the hands of her abductors elicited outrage and sorrow, and a vow by Iraq's Interior Ministry to bring to justice the killers of a woman who had "served Iraq for more than 30 years."
Khamail's husband, Muhammad, cited his late wife and mother of their three children's dedication to her work: "Even when she was ill, even when she was facing hard situations, even when she had family or social problems, her duty and attendance at work were most important."
Khamail's mother described the difficulty that authorities encountered even retrieving her daughter's body: "The police said that when commandos tried to clear the body from the street, gunmen were awaiting them and a shootout took place. The police commandos succeeded in clearing the body to Al-Yarmuk Hospital. I, her brother and his wife, and her uncles, we buried her, and here we are mourning her."