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US identifies American slain in Baghdad as aid worker

BAGHDAD — An American aid worker fatally shot in central Baghdad has been identified as 45-year-old Stephen Edward Troell, the US Embassy based in Baghdad says today.

Troell, a native of Tennessee, was killed by unknown assailants in his car as he pulled up to the street where he lived with his family in Baghdad’s central Karrada district. It was a rare killing of a foreigner in Iraq, where security conditions have improved in recent years, even opening the door for tourism.

The embassy is closely monitoring an investigation begun by Iraqi authorities, but declines to comment further out of respect for his mourning family, the embassy statement says.

Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani ordered an investigation in the hours after Troell was killed. Troell’s body had already arrived at Baghdad’s Sheikh Zayed hospital.

The circumstances surrounding Troell’s death and his activities in Iraq are shrouded in mystery. No group has claimed responsibility for the killing. Security officials dismissed the possibility it was a kidnapping gone wrong.

Security officials said as Troell drove through his street toward his home in Karrada’s Wahda area on Monday, a car cut him off and assailants in another vehicle then shot him dead. The officials also said his wife was in the car with him but had not been hurt. Her whereabouts and that of their children are not known.

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