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Government demands report into Iraq shooting

The circumstances surrounding his death are not yet clear

(Keystone)

The Swiss government has asked the United States to explain the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting of a Swiss-Iraqi citizen in Baghdad.

The Kurdish academic, who was a member of the Social Democratic party in Geneva, was apparently driving in a car with his brother last Tuesday when US soldiers opened fire.

The Swiss foreign minister, Micheline Calmy-Rey, said on Saturday evening that she had demanded a report from both the Iraqi and US authorities on the incident.

Washington said it regretted the incident and said it would cooperate with Switzerland in order to clarify the circumstances.

According to the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper, Iraqi eyewitnesses said the car of the 49-year-old man, identified as Salah Jmor, and his brother approached an American military convoy in the upscale Zaiyuna district of Baghdad.

Soldiers in one of the army vehicles opened fire on the car. Jmor died from his wounds while his brother survived.

Political post

The NZZ am Sonntag said Jmor, who came to Switzerland 25 years ago as an Iraqi-Kurdish refugee, was earmarked for the post of trade minister in the partially autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq.

"He was involved in politics and was doing work for peace," Fehlmann Rielle, chairwoman of Geneva’s Social Democrats told the Associated Press.

Jmor earned a doctorate title from Geneva’s Graduate Institute of International Studies (GIIS), and lectured at private business schools in the city.

He was the author of a book, in French, titled "The origin of the Kurdish question".

"This tragedy has touched us profoundly. [The circumstances that led to his death] must be clarified," Roger de Weck, president of the GIIS foundation told the NZZ.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

The Iraqi-Kurd, Salah Jmor, had lived in Switzerland for 25 years.
He was a graduate of the Graduate Institute for International Studies.
He was a member of the Social Democratic party in Geneva for the past five years.
Jmor supported the rights of Kurds, publishing a book on the issue.

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