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TWO MORE JOURNALISTS KILLED ON ANNIVERSARY OF INVASION BRINGS DEATH TOLL CLOSER TO 200

On the fourth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, two more journalists have been killed and the country remains the deadliest in the world for the press, report the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF) and the International News Safety Institute (INSI).

The body of Hamid al-Duleimi, a producer on the TV channel al-Nahrain, was identified in the Baghdad morgue on 19 March. He had been kidnapped two days previously when leaving the channel's studios. Autopsy reports revealed that he had been tortured.

Hussein al-Jaburi, editor of the daily "al-Safir" was ambushed outside his Baghdad home on 11 February. He was taken to a hospital in Amman, Jordan for treatment, and died from his injuries on 16 March.

According to INSI, a global network of news and press freedom organisations, al-Duleimi and al-Jaburi bring the total number of journalists and support staff who have died when trying to cover the war in Iraq to 187 as of 20 March 2007. INSI records all casualties and causes of death, whether deliberate or accidental, during coverage-related activities.

The death toll of journalists and other media workers has steadily climbed since 2003, and has mushroomed in the past year, say INSI, RSF and CPJ. Most of the casualties in 2003 were international. But as the conflict turned increasingly towards civil war, the Iraqi casualties began to mount, accounting for more than 80 per cent of all media deaths in Iraq and nearly a third of all abductions. There is still no news of Karim Manhal, a commentator on Radio Dijla, who was snatched from his car by four armed men outside the radio?s studios with his driver, Thamir Sabri, on 18 March.

According to a CPJ report, murder is the leading cause of journalist deaths in Iraq, by a ratio of almost two to one; dozens of Iraqi journalists have been detained by the U.S. military, and at least 14 have been killed in incidents classified as "crossfire"; Baghdad province has been the most dangerous location for the press; and the government-run Iraq Media Network has suffered the greatest losses, with 23 of its journalists and support workers killed.

Visit these sites:
- RSF on most recent murders and abductions: http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=21379
- CPJ's statistical profile of journalists killed in Iraq: http://www.cpj.org/Briefings/Iraq/Iraq_danger.html
- Details of each of the deadly incidents on INSI: http://www.newssafety.com/casualties/iraq.htm
(27 March 2007)

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