Iraq: Five injured in terrorist attack on Kurdistan Media Network

A terrorist attack hit the Rudaw Media Network, based in Erbil, Kurdistan’s capital, on 25 June, leaving five employees with minor injuries. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and their affiliate, the Kurdistan Journalists Syndicate (KJS) strongly condemn the attack and call for more security for journalists on the ground. A hand grenade, thrown at the head office just after midnight from a moving vehicle, hit one of Rudaw’s mobile satellite trucks, leaving five employees injured and damaging two live coverage vehicles. The injured employees include public relations employee Xalil Rashid, Rudaw driver Nashwan Xarib, and three security guards, Hersh Akram, Huner Maroof and Ahmed Munhim. The five employees, now in stable condition, were taken to hospital and treated for minor injuries. IFJ affiliate KJS has condemned the attack, calling upon the Asayesh (security) and the police to find and arrest the perpetrators. KJS publicly ‘demanded that the security authorities be legally accountable for its duties to provide safety for journalists and media’. IFJ President Philippe Leruth said, ‘This terrorist attempt represents a direct attack against freedom of expression in the region. Our thoughts are with those injured and we wish them a full recovery.  It is imperative that those responsible for this attack are found and brought to justice.’ In a statement from Rudaw, following the attack, the network made it very clear that this would not hinder them from delivering the news, declaring that ‘Rudaw was not afraid of any threats in the past and we will not be afraid now or in the future’. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.  

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