IFJ Condemns Impunity as Iraq Suicide Strike on Al-Arabiya Kills Six

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)

today condemned a suicide bomb attack in Baghdad on the Arab satellite channel Al-Arabiya in which four employees and two members of the public were killed.

The Federation says journalists remain prime

targets for terrorists in Iraq

and the government must act now to counter impunity in the killings of


The suicide bomber blew up a vehicle at around

9.30am local time in front of the station's bureau in Baghdad's city centre, leaving a massive

crater. Iraqi military

spokesman Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi said three guards and a cleaning woman were killed in the blast that left another 10 injured.

"This attack comes after clear threats from

terrorists that they intend to target media," said Aidan White, IFJ General

Secretary. "It is a shocking incident that reinforces the concern over the

dangers faced by journalists and media. More must be done to ensure the safety

of all media personnel."

The attack occurred a month after officials

warned that insurgents opposed to the channel, which is funded from Saudi Arabia,

planned to strike against the network.

"This attack is a further challenge to the

authorities," said White. "Previous killings of journalists have not been

investigated or have been dealt with casually, creating an intolerable regime of

impunity. The government must change its approach and ensure that the killers

of journalists and media staff will be brought to justice."


is the latest in a series of attacks on Al-Arabiya. In September 2008,

its Baghdad

bureau chief, Jawad Hattab, escaped unharmed after spotting a bomb, which

would-be assassins had attached to his car, before it was detonated by remote


In October 2006, a car bomb targeting the channel's then bureau killed seven

people and wounded 20. And in February 2006, Al-Arabiya presenter Atwar

Bahjat and two colleagues were kidnapped and murdered in Samarra

north of Baghdad

over coverage of the bombing of a Shiite shrine, an attack by al-Qaeda that sparked

a new round of sectarian bloodshed.


attack puts a media perspective on the recent falling levels of violence

against civilians," said Aidan White.

"For all journalists and media staff, the dangers in reporting Iraq's

tense political situation remain as great as ever."

For more information contact the IFJ at   +32 235 2207

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists

in 125 countries worldwide