Iraqi tennis players killed for wearing shorts by radical Islamists as warning to observe shar'ia -tv sport news anchor killed
May 28, 2006
The fresh violence came amid rising fears in the Iraqi capital that extremists seeking to force Baghdad residents to follow strict Islamic practices were now targeting men in shorts, liquor stores and even barbers. Gunmen in recent months have even killed people drinking beer along the banks of the Tigris river.
Iraqi tennis players killed for wearing shorts
Baghdad: An Iraqi tennis coach and two of his players were killed this week in Baghdad because they were wearing shorts, authorities said on Saturday.
Gunmen stopped the car in which the Sunni coach and two of his Shiite players were riding and asked them to step out before shooting them on Wednesday in volatile Saidiyah neighborhood of southwestern Baghdad, said Secreatary General of Iraqi Tennis Union, Manham Kubba.
Extremists distributed leaflets warning people in mostly Sunni neighborhoods of Saidiyah and Ghazaliyah not to wear shorts, police said.
"Wearing shorts by youth is prohibited because it violates the principals of Islamic religion when showing forbidden parts of the body. Also women should wear the veil," the leaflets said.
Nobody claimed responsibility for the attack, but it came amidst the fear of a rise in Islamic extremism in the war-torn country.
Sunni cleric Eid al-Zoubayi denounced the attack on the athletes. "Islamic religion is an easy religion and it allows wearing sport shorts as long as they don't show the forbidden parts of the body, so the acts that are targeting the sport are criminal," he said.
The killing of the tennis players was the second attack against athletes in just over a week.
A taekwondo team was kidnapped in western Iraq while driving to a training camp in neighboring Jordan on May 17.
The 15 athletes were snatched on a road between the Sunni cities of Fallujah and Ramadi.
More than 30 people were killed in attacks nationwide on Saturday, including four who died when a bomb in a parked car exploded near a busy bus station in southern Baghdad.
Seven people also were wounded in the blast, which left passers-by bloodied and damaged a local restaurant.
BAGHDAD, May 31 (Reuters) - A sports anchorman for Iraqi state television was gunned down in Baghdad on Wednesday, police sources said.
Gunmen killed the Iraqiya station's Ali Jaafar as he left his home, the sources said.
Several journalists from the government-funded station have been targeted by insurgents waging a violent campaign to topple U.S.-backed Iraqi leaders.
The slaying came two days after a roadside bomb killed two members of a CBS television crew, cameraman Paul Douglas, 48, and soundman James Brolan, and seriously wounded correspondent Kimberly Dozier.
More than 70 journalists have been killed in Iraq since the U.S. invasion in 2003. Most have been Iraqis. (Baghdad newsroom)