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WOMAN JOURNALIST KILLED IN BOTCHED ABDUCTION ATTEMPT

Gunmen ambushed and shot dead an Iraqi reporter in a botched kidnapping attempt on 4 May in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, report Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and local sources.

Serwa Abdul-Wahab, a freelancer who contributed to the news website Muraslon.com, was allegedly walking home from a nearby market when two unidentified gunmen pulled up in a car and tried to force her into their vehicle, says CPJ. According to RSF, her mother witnessed her being shot in the head as she resisted.

A colleague told Reuters that Abdul-Wahab had received a text message on her phone three weeks earlier warning her to stop reporting or she would be killed.

Journalists have frequently been targeted for professional reasons and not killed in combat, says CPJ, and Abdul-Wahab was a known defender of journalists' rights in Iraq.

Iraq remains the deadliest country for journalists. CPJ says more than 175 journalists and media support workers have been killed in Iraq since the start of the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003. According to RSF, 212 journalists and media assistants have been killed.

CPJ ranked Iraq the worst at solving murders of journalists in its just launched "Impunity Index", with 79 unsolved since March 2003.

Visit these links:
- CPJ: http://tinyurl.com/4wkmoa
- RSF: http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=26857
- Associated Press via "International Herald Tribune": http://tinyurl.com/4m6xnp
- Reuters: http://tinyurl.com/5yy6ap
(6 May 2008)

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