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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Journalist Killed in Iraq Blast

ReutersDmitry Chebotayev, left, is seen outside Baghdad on March 7. He died Sunday while traveling with U.S. troops.
A Russian photographer was killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb blast that also killed six U.S. troops, the editor of the Russian edition of Newsweek magazine said Monday.

Dmitry Chebotayev, 27, was killed Sunday while traveling in a vehicle with U.S. troops on a road between Baghdad and Baqouba, Russian Newsweek editor Leonid Parfyonov said.

Chebotayev, a freelance photojournalist who often worked for Russian Newsweek, was on assignment for the magazine at the time, said Parfyonov.

"It is a big loss for us," Parfyonov said. "Everyone here loved him, and loved working with him. He was a cheerful person who loved life."

The U.S. military had said six soldiers and a European journalist were killed when a massive bomb destroyed their vehicle in Diyala province. Two U.S. soldiers were wounded, the military said.

Chebotayev, who was from Moscow, often worked in dangerous places such as Iraq and Chechnya, Parfyonov said. He called Chebotayev "a very good photographer. He was a young guy who took risks, who often worked in hot spots."

Chebotayev is the only Russian journalist to have been killed in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, said Oleg Panfilov, director of the Moscow-based Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations.

The abduction and killing of four Russian diplomats in Baghdad in June prompted calls from Moscow for better security measures by Iraqi and U.S. forces.

The Russian Embassy in Baghdad is preparing to return Chebotayev's body to Russia, Alexander Chamov, Russian Ambassador to Iraq, told Rossia television Monday.

AP, MT