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Well-known radio and television host in coma after being shot near her home

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders has voiced deep concern over the condition of a well-known Iraqi public radio and television presenter, Amal Al-Mudarress, who is reportedly in a coma after being shot several times as she left her Baghdad home on 29 April 2007.

"How many more of these tragedies will we have to see before the authorities resolve to find a way to put a stop to impunity in Iraq?" Reporters Without Borders asked. "The same pattern is repeated in each attack on journalists. Armed groups are using a planned and deliberate modus operandi to spread terror within the media."

Mudarress, who is in her 60s, was leaving her home in the west Baghdad neighbourhood of Al-Khadraa early on 29 April with her husband, Adnan Al-Mudarress, and her son, Kanaan, when gunmen opened fire on her, hitting her several times in the head and chest. After being taken to Yarmouk hospital, she was transferred to Kadimiyah hospital for an operation to remove a bullet in her left temple. Doctors described her condition as critical and said they needed to see how it evolved in the next 48 hours before offering any prognosis.

Mudarress has been working for public radio and television since the 1960s, becoming a household figure thanks to entertainment programmes such as "Ten Minutes". She later worked as a radio commentator until Saddam Hussein's ouster. Since then, she has been hosting "Studio 10", a talk-show about Iraqis' everyday problems.

At least 167 journalists and media assistants have been killed since the US-led invasion in 2003. Another two are missing and 12 are currently being held hostage.

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