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Bodies of 2 Iraqi journalists killed in Syria returned to Baghdad

Also today, Baghdad warns of fresh "assault on Iraqis living in Syria," urging citizens to flee.

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A Syrian woman sits with her grandson outside a damaged building on the main street of the Syrian village of Treimsa, where more than 150 people were killed this week, in the central province of Hama on July 13, 2012. A variety of weapons were used in the attack on Treimsa, with the homes of rebels and activists bearing the brunt, UN observers said. (D. Leal Olivas/AFP/Getty Images)

The bodies of two Iraqi journalists recently killed in Syria were transferred back to their homeland overnight, reported the Associated Press, while Baghdad today warned its citizens to flee the strife-ridden country.

Army commander Brigadier General Qassim al-Dulaimi told AP that it was not clear when or how reporters Ali Juburi and Falah Taha had died, but their press cards and IDs were still on them when their bodies were found in the Damascus suburb of Jaramana. AP said no fighting has been reported in that area lately.

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Baghdad today advised its citizens to flee the country, where over a year of violence between an armed anti-government revolt and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad has taken some 10,000 lives.

The government statement also raised concern over “increasing incidents of murder and assault on Iraqis living in Syria,” according to Reuters.

It was not clear whether the remarks were related to the deaths of the two Iraqi journalists. 

Iraq's Independent Journalists' Freedom Observatory today said the two Iraqi journalists' deaths are the first of their kind reported in Syria.  

The group's statement identified Juburi as an editor of a weekly publication and said he was killed by an armed group. Taha, a freelancer, was reportedly killed in the midst of covering clashes there, said the group. 

Al-Dulaimi, who serves in Anbar province bordering Syria, said their remains were received at border crossing late Monday night, reported AP

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/iraq/120717/bodies-2-iraqi-journalists-killed-syria-returned-baghd