Two journalists were among the 33 victims killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up today in a targeted attack on tribal leaders near the town hall in Abu Ghraib, in Baghdad. At least 46 people were injured including several journalists following meetings in the local market as part of efforts at national reconciliation.
The Iraqi Journalists Syndicate, an affiliate of the International Federation of Journalists, expressed shock at the attack. “This is a hideous crime against the Iraqi journalists who are doing their job honestly and independently in the road to peace and reconciliation,” they said.
The private Al-Baghdadia channel said their correspondent and a cameraman Haider Hashim and Suhaib Adnan were killed in the blast. The station put up photographs of its two slain staff on their website.
Ibrahim al-Katib, a reporter from Iraqi state television, Iraqia TV, was gravely wounded and had to undergo emergency surgery. Iraqia TV photographer Raa’d Qasem, his assistant Udei Munther and the technician Fawzi Idan were also injured.
The Iraqi Journalists’ Syndicate says that his attack raises the number of Iraqi killed journalist to 295 journalist since April 2003.
“Journalists killed and injured while reporting on events that are part of a peace-making story illustrates vividly the tragedy of Iraq as it strives to escape the scourge of war and community violence,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “We will continue to work closely with our colleagues to try to reduce the risks facing journalists, but that is not easy given that the streets of Iraq remain hostile and dangerous wherever journalists are at work.”
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The IFJ represents over 600.000 journalists in 123 countries.