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Journalist murdered outside his home in Mosul

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders strongly condemned the murder of Iraqi journalist Mohiddin Abdulhamid al-Nakib, gunned down outside his home in the northern city of Mosul, 370 kms north of Baghdad, on 17 June 2008.

His death brings to 216 the number of media workers killed in Iraq since the start of the war in March 2003, 12% of whom have died in Mosul, the country's second most dangerous city for media professionals.

Al-Nakib, 50, was shot as he was leaving his home in the al-Zirae district in the north of the city to go to work. One of his colleagues told Agence France-Presse that he presented cultural and religious programmes on al-Iraqiya television, which is part of the Iraqi public media network.

Head of programmes for the channel in Mosul, Samir Slouki, told Reporters Without Borders that al-Nakib had "like very many others, received threats from terrorist groups."

"The journalist was ambushed in front of his home, an attack which bears the hallmarks of a number of armed groups that are the scourge of the press in Iraq. Even without any claim of responsibility, it is highly likely that the journalist was targeted because he worked for a state media," the worldwide press freedom organisation said.

"We urge the government of Nuri al-Maliki to open an investigation into who was responsible and to bring them to trial. The impunity that has prevailed in the country for more than five years only encourages the killers of journalists to continue their evil work", the organisation added.

Since the start of the Iraq war, at least 109 media professionals have been killed in Baghdad while 26 have been killed in Mosul.

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