Hawija (IraqiNews.com) A photographer working with Iraq’s military media was killed while covering heightening encounters between Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants in Hawija, Kirkuk, military media reported.
Hamza al-Abboudi, a photographer with the Defense Ministry’s“War Media Cell”, was killed when Islamic State militants fired a mortar shell on his locations when troops were invading the center of the group’s bastion in southwestern Kirkuk.
Iraqi joint forces invaded central Hawija earlier on Wednesday, having launched a major offensive to retake the strategic haven late September.
Conflicts in Iraq have killed 465 Iraqi journalists in 14 years, the head of the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate, Moayed al-Lami, said on Wednesday.
Seven reporters were killed in Iraq in 2016, out of a total of 57 who were killed in conflict areas across the world, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF)’s 2016 report. In the organization’s press freedom index for 2017, Iraq came in the 158th place globally and 13th among Arab countries.
The Committee to Protect Journalists ranks Iraq as the world’s leading country in terms of impunity regarding journalists’ killing, attributing the fact to the involvement of extremist militias in the murders.