The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the
bomb blast in the Iraqi city of Tikrit in which 57 people died including
at least one journalist.
Sabah al-Bazi, a freelance journalist who worked for Iraqi TV, Al Arabiya and various news
outlets including Reuters and CNN was killed with others on Tuesday
when bombs exploded as security forces stormed a government building in the
city where gunmen were holding people hostages, including members of the
provincial council who had gathered for a meeting and journalists covering the
event, reports say.
"We condemn this barbaric act which has claimed so many innocent lives,
including that of a working journalist," said Aidan White, IFJ General
Secretary. "This incident proves again that Iraq remains a dangerous region
where journalists put their lives on the line whenever they are covering public
events that are potential targets for terrorists."
According to media reports, gunmen attacked the meeting of the
provincial council held in a government building in the northern city of
Tikrit, the capital of Salaheddin province. Fighting broke out after security
forces raided the building and gunmen set off bombs. As well as those killed
some 90 people were wounded in the incident.
There were reports of another journalist killed in the blast but his
identity has not been established.
The IFJ says that the latest attack shows that the safety of journalists
in Iraq remains a serious concern despite the dramatic drop over the last three
years in the deadly attacks in the country which claimed over 250 killings of
journalists since the US led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
"This tragic attack shows we cannot be complacent about the safety of
our Iraqi colleagues," added White. "Journalists are on the front line and
among the most likely to fall victims to indiscriminate acts of terror. More
must be done to eliminate the threat of terrorism."
information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 07
The IFJ represents more than
600.000 members in 125 countries