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REGIONS:

EDITOR KILLED, STATE-RUN MEDIA TARGETED

In Iraq, state-run daily newspapers are a frequent target of attacks by insurgents because of their ties to the U.S.-supported government. Since 2004, at least 18 state media employees have been killed, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

On 9 September 2006, an employee of the state-run daily "Al-Sabah" became the latest victim. Abdel Karim al-Rubai, a design editor, was shot dead by gunmen while traveling to work in the eastern Baghdad neighborhood of Camp Sara, reported CPJ and Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF). The driver of the car, Ahmed Sami, was seriously wounded.

"Al-Sabah" reported two weeks ago that it had received a death threat via e-mail against al-Rubai and his family, which was signed by the military wing of the Mujahedeen Council, an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Iraq. According to the e-mail, the group was angered by the editor's accusation that they were behind a 27 August car bomb attack on "Al-Sabah", which killed a guard and an unidentified man. The blast caused severe damage to the newspaper's building.

"Al-Sabah" was the target of a previous car bomb attack on 7 May, which killed Ismail Muhammad Khalaf, 54, a printing technician, and injured 20 others.

Visit these links:
- CPJ: http://www.cpj.org/news/2006/mideast/iraq11sept06na.html
- RSF: http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=18806
- Heading into Danger: Iraqi Reporter Describes Working Conditions: http://cpj.org/Briefings/2006/DA_spring_06/bassam/bassam_DA.html
- International News Safety Institute: http://www.newssafety.com/hotspots/countries/iraqx.htm
- Iraqi Journalists Rights Defence Association: http://www.ijrda.com

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