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BBC CAMERAMAN, IRAQI EDITOR KILLED

Iraq may be known as one of the world's most dangerous places for journalists, but the murder of a BBC cameraman in Saudi Arabia last week has raised fears about media safety in the royal kingdom, report the International Federation of Journalists, Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

On 6 June 2004, unidentified men opened fire on BBC reporter Frank Gardner and cameraman Simon Cumbers near the capital city of Riyadh, says CPJ. Cumbers died instantly. Gardner survived the attack but received serious wounds.

The journalists were filming a house belonging to an Al-Queda militant killed last year by Saudi police. They were accompanied by a Saudi government minder. Authorities are questioning the minder. The shooting occurred in the suburb of Al-Suwadi, known as a hotbed for religious extremists in Saudi Arabia. Gardner and Cumbers had been covering the recent terrorist attacks in the country, including in the city of Khobar where 22 people were killed by Al Queda militants.

Meanwhile, in Iraq, another journalist has been added to the list of killed media staff in the country. Sahar Saad Eddin Nuami, editor of three weekly newspapers in the northern city of Kirkuk, was killed in a grenade attack on 3 June, RSF reports.

According to the organisation, unidentified assailants threw a grenade at Nuami's car as he was driving through the city. He died instantly. He was the editor of "Al-Mizan," "Al-Khaima" and "Al-Hayat al-Gadida." RSF says he is the 33rd media worker killed in Iraq since March 2003.

Visit these links:

- BBC Obituary of Simon Cumbers: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3782189.stm
- CPJ Report "Conflict in Iraq": http://www.cpj.org/Briefings/2003/gulf03/gulf03.html
- RSF: http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=10560
- IFJ Safety Manual:
http://www.ifj.org/default.asp?index=764&Language=EN
- International News Safety Institute: http://www.newssafety.com
(Image courtesy of RSF)

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