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Media Watchdogs Condemn Killing Of Iraqi TV Journalists

Iraqi journalists protest the assasination of a young Kurdish journalist in Baghdad in May.
Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists have condemned the killings of two broadcast journalists in Iraq this week and urged Iraqi authorities to do more to protect media workers, RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq reports.

Safaa Abdul Hamid, a cameraman for regional television station Al-Mosuliyah, was gunned down near his home in the northern city of Mosul on September 8. The killing occurred the day after Riyad al-Sarray, a moderator for the state-run TV station Al-Iraqiyah, was shot dead in Baghdad.

Ziyad al-Ajili, the executive director in the Arabic Press Freedom Observatory, says that 251 journalists have been killed in Iraq -- 22 of them foreigners -- since the U.S.-led war began in 2003.

He says he regrets the failure of the Iraqi government and international coalition forces to protect journalists in Iraq.

Qussay Hassan, a journalist at the "Al-Zaman" newspaper, has criticized the government for not doing enough to stop the violence or conduct in-depth investigations into the killings.

He says the authorities often end investigations before finding the killers or announcing the results of their probes.

Hassan adds that because journalists promote democratic values in Iraq, they are often the target of Islamic insurgents or criminal groups.