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Iraqi journalist succumbs to bomb injuries in Ramadi

Unabated violence: Iraqi security forces survey the damage at the scene of a suicide attack near the Anbar provincial government offices in the restive city of Ramadi, in which more than ten people were killed, including several policemen on December 12, 2010.

Journalist and presenter on the satellite TV channel al-Anbar Omar Rassim al-Qayssi died on Sunday of injuries he suffered in a booby-trap car bomb in al-Anbar city centre, Ramadi, 167 km east of Baghdad).

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) hopes that an investigation will be opened and those responsible will be brought to trial. The press freedom organisation said it was sickened by the practice of suicide bombings designed to kill a maximum number of civilians. Journalists, whose job it is to cover public events, are regularly caught up in these attacks as victims. Seven Iraqi journalists have been directly targeted in terrorist attacks since May 2010 and none of these cases has been solved.

The latest attack, at the entrance to local government buildings, left around twenty people dead and 30 more injured. Some 10 cars were destroyed in the violent explosion.

RSF also condemned obstruction to the work of journalists on the part of the security forces. Press photographer and correspondent for the weekly al-Anbar, Saddam Mehdi, who arrived on the scene to cover the latest attack was arrested by police, held for one hour and his equipment was seized.

Elsewhere, a team from the political news daily al-Mada was Monday prevented from covering flooding that struck Sadr City in Baghdad, following several days of torrential rain. Police arrested the journalists as they arrived in the city centre constituencies 2 and 3, and told them to leave the area, in response to an order from the local council. Faced with threats from the security forces, the editor of the daily withdrew his team of journalists.

RSF condemned the blocking of access to information that journalists in Iraq suffer from. To date, the organisation has recorded numerous incidents of violence against media staff. It urged the authorities to allow journalists to do their job without being harassed.

Date posted: December 14, 2010 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 156