Iraq and Afghanistan deadliest countries for journalists in 2016, IFJ says, as it deplores impunity for killings.
A female reporter working for an Iraqi Kurdish channel has been killed in a roadside bomb attack while covering clashes between Iraqi government forces and ISIL in Mosul.
Killed on Saturday, 30-year-old Shifa Gardi was a presenter and chief of output at Rudaw, a media group in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region funded by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).
“Prominent Rudaw war reporter and journalist Shifa Gardi has been killed in Mosul as she covered clashes,” Rudaw said on social media.
“Rudaw loses one of its most prominent journalists in Mosul today.”
“[She] was killed on Saturday in a roadside bomb explosion in Mosul,” a statement posted to Rudaw’s website said.
“Gardi was one of Rudaw’s most daring journalists.”
Her cameraman, Younis Mustafa, was wounded in the attack. He was transferred to Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan region, where Rudaw is headquartered.
— Rudaw English (@RudawEnglish) February 25, 2017
Gardi was presenting a daily special programme on the Mosul offensive.
On February 21, Gardi saved a wounded rabbit in the village of Albu Saif, Rudaw said, citing the moment she returned to the newsroom with the animal in her arms.
The military operation to retake Iraq’s second-largest city from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group was officially launched in October last year, and in January its eastern half was declared “fully liberated“.
A number of journalists have been injured in the Mosul operation. In October, an Iraqi television journalist was killed covering the battle.
Mosul is ISIL’s last major urban stronghold in Iraq, but the battle to retake its western half is expected to be the most challenging yet, since the streets are older, narrower and it is densely populated with an estimated 750,000 civilians trapped in the area.