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Students of Irbil's College of Journalism hold portraits of Shifa Gardi, a journalist for the network Rudaw who was killed while covering the Mosul offensive, during a memorial ceremony in Irbil on February 26.

A reporter working for an Iraqi Kurdish television channel was killed by the explosion of a roadside bomb February 25 during fighting between government troops and Islamic State militants in Mosul.

The Rudaw news organization said in a statement that 30-year-old Shifa Gardi, a presenter for Rudaw, was killed in a bomb attack, and cameraman Younis Mustafa was injured on the outskirts of Mosul.

Gardi was presenting a daily special program on the Mosul offensive when the explosion occurred.

A statement on Rudaw's website described her as one of the organization's "most daring journalists."

Several journalists have been injured in the Mosul operation, and an Iraqi television journalist, Ali Raysan, was killed covering the battle in October.

Iraq is one of the world's most-dangerous places for journalists. It was ranked 158th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders' 2016 World Press Freedom Index.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP
A protester chained himself to a truck on February 24.

Dozens of activists protested for a fifth day against the construction of a business center next to a protected memorial area in Belarus where at least 30,000 people were killed and buried by Soviet authorities in the 1930s and 1940s.

Construction works that started on February 16 continued on February 24 despite the protest at the Kurapaty preserve on the outskirts of the capital, Minsk.

Protesters are demanding an immediate halt of the construction works, which they say desecrate the memory of thousands of victims of the Soviet state under dictator Josef Stalin.

Leaders of opposition parties and movements have been participating in the protest.

The protesters have set up tents at the site in order to stay around the clock.

During the night on February 22, at least 15 masked men with wooden bats attacked the protesters' camp, injuring one activist.

Activists say they suspect Minsk city authorities were behind the attack.

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.


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