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Journalist shot dead in northern Iraq

Khudr Younis al-Obaidi worked for Al-Diwan newspaper, the mouthpiece of tribes in this northern region.

india Updated: Jan 13, 2007 12:25 IST

Gunmen killed an Iraqi journalist working for a local newspaper on Friday in northern Iraq, police said, the latest in a series of attacks on media staffers that have left scores dead in the past few years.

Khudr Younis al-Obaidi who worked for Al-Diwan newspaper, the mouthpiece of tribes in this northern region, was gunned down in the afternoon by several men in a car as he walked in the street, Col Abdul-Karim al-Jubouri said.

Al-Obaidi's killing was the second this year after Associated Press staffer Ahmed Hadi Naji was found shot in the back last week.

His body was found six days after he was last seen by his family leaving for work.

An Associated Press cameraman, Aswan Ahmed Lutfallah, also was shot to death by insurgents while covering clashes in Mosul in early December.

Before al-Obaidi's death, the Committee to Protect Journalists had recorded 93 journalists and 37 media support workers killed since the war began in March 2003.

"We condemn the murder of our colleague Khudr Younis al-Obaidi and offer our condolences to his family," CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said in a statement.

"Two Iraqi journalists have already been murdered in the first two weeks of the year, underscoring the terrible risks local journalists are facing and establishing once again that Iraq is the most dangerous assignment for journalists in the world," he added.

"Authorities must do more to bring those responsible to justice, or journalists will remain vulnerable to attacks."

The New York-based advocacy group said insurgents are responsible for the bulk of media deaths and over 80 per cent of those slain have been Iraqis working for local and international news outlets.

First Published: Jan 13, 2007 12:25 IST