Iraqi cameraman killed in IED blast while accompanying troops in Tal Afar

The aftermath of a car bomb blast. File Photo.

Tal Afar ( An Iraqi cameraman was killed on Sunday as an IED exploded while he was accompanying troops in their attacks against Islamic State militants in Tal Afar, the group’s last bastion in Nineveh province.

The Iraqi Observatory For Press Freedoms (IOPF) mourned on Sunday the journalist Sijad Najim Ojail, who worked for Karbala TV in south of Iraq.

The victim succumbed to death once the blast occurred, the non-governmental organization said.

Iraqi troops managed on Sunday to liberate the last two IS-held regions in the town.

Earlier on the day, the military media said government troops and allied paramilitary forces had retaken full control over the town in a seven-day offensive after Iraqi PM Haidar al-Abadi announced in a televised speech on August 20 the beginning of operations to recapture Tal Afar, which has been held by the militants since 2014, when the extremist group first emerged to proclaim its self-styled ‘caliphate’. This came after 40 days of declaring victory in Mosul, the group’s former capital, where operations lasted between October to July.

In July, the Federation of Arab Journalists said 47 Iraqi journalists were killed, while 55 others were wounded while covering and accompanying security troops during battles in Mosul.

The first Iraqi slain journalist in 2017 was Abdul Qader al-Qaisi, who was kidnapped and then found by security forces in January. His body was dumped on the road between Kirkuk and Baghdad. Another journalist Afrah Shawqi was abducted for nine days and then released.

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