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THREE JOURNALISTS, DRIVER GUNNED DOWN IN AMBUSH NEAR KIRKUK

Three journalists and their driver were killed last week when gunmen ambushed their car near Kirkuk, report the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Their murders bring the media workers death toll in Iraq to more than 200 since the war began in March 2003, says IFJ.

On 9 May Raad Mutashar, chair of Kirkuk Writers' Union and owner of the media company "Al-Raad", "al-Raad" writers Imad Abdul-Razzaq al-Obeidi and Ageel Abdul-Qader, and their driver Nibras Razzaq, were shot at close range.

IFJ hosted a meeting last week in Irbil to devise a national safety strategy for Iraqi journalists, which includes establishing an independent Iraqi Media Safety Group and safety offices around the country, and raising money for a national solidarity fund to provide assistance to media victims of violence and their families. To read the strategy, see: http://www.ifj.org/pdfs/IraqiMediaSafetyStrategy110507.pdf

Visit these links:
- IFJ: http://www.ifj.org/default.asp?Index=4897&Language=EN
- RSF: http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=22060
- CPJ: http://tinyurl.com/327v2f
(15 May 2007)

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