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CAMERAMAN KILLED IN ROADSIDE BOMB

A TV cameraman was killed in a roadside blast on his way from Baghdad to Samarra last week, reports Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Alaa Abdulkarim al-Fartoosi, a cameraman for Al-Forat TV, a satellite channel of the Shiite political party the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, was killed when his car was hit by a roadside bomb on 28 January. Fatima al-Hassina, a reporter at Al-Forat, and their assistant, Haidar Kadhem, were wounded. The crew were on their way to Samarra to cover the second anniversary of the February 2006 bombing that destroyed the Shiite mausoleum of Imam al-Hadi.

RSF notes, "The increase in the number of U.S. soldiers and Iraqi police has reduced the frequency of bombings in Baghdad but not in the rest of the country."

According to Iraqi organisation the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, the road from Baghdad to Samarra is one of the most dangerous in the country. It was on this road that Atwar Bahjat of Al-Arabiya TV and her crew were kidnapped and murdered in 2006.

According to RSF, at least 208 journalists and media assistants have been killed in Iraq since March 2003.

Visit these links:
- RSF: http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=25268
- IFEX alert on Bahjat: http://tinyurl.com/2lckd7
(5 February 2008)

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