An argument in Baghdad's upmarket Jadriyah neighbourhood has led to a senior journalist being shot dead by a presidential guard.
A presidential guard has shot dead a senior Iraqi journalist during an argument in Baghdad, briefly sparking a standoff in which Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki demanded he be handed over.
It was not immediately clear what sparked the altercation outside a heavily guarded presidential complex in the upmarket Jadriyah neighbourhood, but it appeared that Mohammed Bidaiwi, the Baghdad bureau chief of Radio Free Iraq, was on his way to work inside the compound when the shooting occurred on Saturday.
The officer allegedly responsible, a captain in the Kurdish peshmerga forces, fled the scene after the incident.
He apparently took refuge in presidential guard offices before eventually being handed over, but only after Maliki himself made a surprise appearance to demand he be taken into custody.
"The peshmerga captain killed him after he stopped him from getting into the compound," said a journalist at Radio Free Iraq, who declined to be identified.
An interior ministry official, who also did not want to be named, confirmed the account.
Bidaiwi is survived by his widow and two children.
A journalist since 1993, he had been Baghdad bureau chief for Radio Free Iraq since 2006 and was also an associate professor of journalism at Baghdad's Mustansiriyah University.
The broadcaster was established in 1998 and is a branch of US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, broadcasting in Arabic from Prague and Baghdad.
The so-called "Talabani Compound" where the shooting occurred lies just outside the heavily fortified Green Zone, which is home to the prime minister's residence, parliament and the US and British embassies.
It is named after President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, who has been in Germany for more than a year receiving treatment for a stroke.