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Kurdish journalist seriously injured in armed attack, his sister killed, other family members injured

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders has voiced deep shock and sadness at the death of the sister of journalist Sadeq Jaafar Bashir, sub-editor on the Kurdish monthly review "Araa" (Opinions), who was gunned down in a murder attempt against him at his home in Baghdad.

At least 217 journalists and media assistants have been killed in Iraq since the start of the war in March 2003.

Seven men in military garb burst into the journalist's home on 24 August 2008 saying they wanted to search the place but after a brief search they opened fire on Jaafar Bashir and his family, killing his sister and wounding his three-year-old daughter and 70-year-old mother.

Jaafar Bashir was admitted to Madinat al-Tib hospital in the capital where he underwent an operation to remove bullets from his stomach and he has been left facing the loss of the use of his left hand.

"Sadeq Jaafar Bashir is the latest victim in the spiral of violence which has targeted journalists in Iraq for more than five years", the worldwide press freedom organisation said.

"We urge the authorities to open an investigation to promptly discover who his assailants were. The Iraqi press has already paid a high price and this attack sets an alarming precedent. Journalists are not only targeted when they are out and about but from now on they are also in danger in their own homes".

Jaafar Bashir told Reporters Without Borders that he had not received any threat before the attack. He added that police had failed to interview him about the shooting a week later and complained at the slowness of their investigation.

Jaafar Bashir is a member of the Kurdish Journalists' Association and the review for which he works is published in Arabic by the organisation Shafaq.

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