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Woman journalist shot dead outside her home in Mosul

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders is shocked by the murder of freelance journalist Sirwa Abdel Wahab on 4 May 2008 in Mosul, 400 km north of Baghdad. Her death brings to 212 the number of journalists and media assistants killed in Iraq since the start of the war in March 2003. Twenty-five of them have been killed in Mosul.

"This is yet another case to add to the long list of Iraqi journalists who have been targeted by armed groups operating with complete impunity," the press freedom organisation said. "We urge the Iraqi authorities to carry out a thorough investigation in order to identify those responsible and to discourage similar murders in the future."

Reporters Without Borders added: "As has happened so often in the past, Wahab was caught in an ambush from which she had no chance of escaping. Our thoughts are with her family and colleagues to whom we offer our sincerest condolences."

Gunmen killed Wahab during an attempt to kidnap her as she was leaving her home in the east Mosul neighbourhood of Al-Baqr. When she resisted, they shot her in the head as her mother looked on.

Aged 36 and a member of the Kurdistan Union of Journalists, Wahab freelanced for various news media including the news agency Reporters. She also used to work for the satellite TV station Salaheddin.

A total of 158 journalists and 54 media assistants have been murdered in Iraq since the start of the US-led invasion in March 2003. Nothing is known of the fate of another 14 journalists and media assistants who were kidnapped.

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