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Gunmen raid 4 newspaper offices in Baghdad

BAGHDAD — Gunmen in military uniforms burst into the offices of four independent newspapers in Baghdad, stabbing and beating employees, staff and officials said Tuesday.

One editor said he recognized the attackers as members of a Shi’ite militia, saying the raids came after his newspaper published an article criticizing a prominent hard-line cleric. It underscored the dangers facing the media in Iraq, one of the most dangerous places in the world for reporters.

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Also Tuesday, gunmen killed two men and kidnapped another in a trailer camp on a remote gas field near the Syria-Iraq frontier. Iraq intelligence officials say Al Qaeda militants are growing stronger in the region.

In Baghdad, some 50 assailants participated in the coordinated attack, said Bassam al-Sheikh and Ali al-Daraji, two editors of newspapers whose offices were attacked.

The raiders attacked reporters with batons and knives and smashed computers and furniture at Sheikh’s newspaper, al-Dustour al-Jadida, an editor said.

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