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BLOODY WEEKEND FOR COUNTRY'S JOURNALISTS

Four more journalists have been killed in Iraq, bringing the number of media workers killed in Iraq in 2007 to 23, reports the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).

Khamail Khalaf, a journalist with Radio Free Iraq, the Arabic language service of U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, was kidnapped on 3 April, and found dead on a Baghdad street two days later, says the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Police came under heavy fire by unidentified assailants when they were retrieving her body.

IFJ says that on the same day, the station of Iraqi satellite channel Baghdad TV was blasted by a car bomb, killing the station's deputy director, Thaer Ahmad Jaber, and Husain Nizaer, a trainee journalist, and injuring 11 staff, three of whom are in critical condition.

A fourth journalist, Othman al-Mashhadani, a reporter for the Saudi paper "Al-Watan", was found dead in Baghdad on 6 April. He had been kidnapped on his way home from work on 4 April, says CPJ. His captors had called his family hours after the abduction demanding a ransom for his release.

Meanwhile, the IFJ and its national journalists unions around the world renewed calls for the U.S. to provide credible reports over a number of media deaths at the hands of U.S. troops in Iraq and, in particular, the killing of three journalists four years ago in the Palestine Hotel on 8 April 2003.

Visit these links:
- IFJ alert: http://tinyurl.com/2ske9b
- CPJ alert: http://tinyurl.com/3babd4
- International News Safety Institute details each media death in Iraq:
http://www.newssafety.com/casualties/iraq.htm
(10 April 2007)

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