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CPJ Calls On Turkey To Bring Journalist's IS Killer To Justice

The U.S.-based Committee To Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called on Turkish authorities to protect journalists after a Syrian reporter was targeted by members of the extremist group Islamic State (IS) in southeastern Turkey.

Mohammed Zahir al-Sherqat, a television journalist, was shot at close range over the weekend while walking on the street in Gaziantep, near the border with Syria.

He died in a hospital on April 12.

IS claimed responsibility for the attack, the fourth assassination of a Syrian journalist in Turkey claimed by the extremist group.

"Turkish authorities must urgently demonstrate that killing journalists on the streets of Turkey is unacceptable and will not go unpunished," Nina Ognianova, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia coordinator, said in a statement.

The U.S. State Department condemned the "vicious murder" and said it stood "ready to support Turkey as it works to bring to justice those responsible for attacks on the media."

“Freedom of the press, including ensuring that journalists can safely report on the crisis in Syria, remains critical as reporters keep working to expose the truth about this brutal conflict and [IS] atrocities,” the State Department said in a statement.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP