Khamail Muhsin Khalaf covered social and cultural life for Radio Free Iraq, the Arabic language service of RFE/RL in Iraq. She was a well-known former Iraqi journalist and newscaster who had worked for Iraqi national television since the 1970s and joined RFE/RL shortly after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2004.
Khalaf was reported missing on the morning of April 3, 2007, after police officers found the body of her driver, who had been shot and killed on a city street. Her family later received a call from her mobile phone by an unidentified caller who claimed that Khalaf was with him. There was no further communication. Her body was found two days later in Al-Karkh, a residential district on the west bank of the Tigris River near her home in Baghdad, evidently tortured and shot in the head. She was 50.
Khalaf had previously received death threats and had chosen to relocate two of her daughters, children, to Syria for protection. She leaves behind her husband and three daughters.