IFJ Condemns Killings of Journalists as Bomb Blast Deaths Takes Iraq Media Toll to 127

The killing of two British journalists working for the American television network CBS in Iraq, which brings the total of media staff killed in the conflict since 2003 to 127, reinforces the concern of that there is no safe place for media covering the conflict says the International Federation of Journalists. The number of media people killed in 2006 so far is now 22.

‘This was a tragic example of how journalists embedded with occupation forces face the same perilous conditions that have affected many local reporters,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “Our thoughts tonight are with the friends and families of the victims and we must redouble our efforts to try to keep journalists out of the firing line.”

Paul Douglas, aged 48, and James Brolan, aged 42, both died in Baghdad when the US military unit with whom they were based was hit in a car bomb attack. The CBS correspondent Kimberly Dozier, aged 39, was seriously injured in the attack.

According to colleagues the journalists had been on a patrol with soldiers of the 4th Infantry Division and they were among victims that included a US army officer and an Iraqi interpreter.

The IFJ’s new calls for action on media safety follows a similar plea two weeks ago when six Iraqi media staff were killed in a six-day period, creating what the IFJ said was an “unprecedented atmosphere of terror and intimidation” for journalists throughout the country.

“These new deaths are tragedies that affect all media people and add to the atmosphere of terror surrounding the work of media that makes independent news coverage of the country almost impossible,” said White, IFJ General Secretary.

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The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 100 countries