- The Washington Times - Monday, March 16, 2009

BAGHDAD (AP) - Police say an Iraqi soccer player has been shot dead just as he was about to kick what could have been the tying goal in a weekend game south of Baghdad.

Police Maj. Muthanna Khalid says a striker from the Buhairat amateur team was facing only the goalie during a Sunday match in Hillah when a supporter of the rival Sinjar club shot him in the head in the final minute of play.

Sinjar was leading 1-0 when the shooting occurred. Khalid said a spectator was arrested.

More Iraqis are turning out for sports events now that security is improving. Major matches in Baghdad are heavily guarded but security in amateur games in smaller cities is often lax.

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