2 Iraqi journalists killed by IS militants north-central Iraq

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-07 17:21:32|Editor: Zhang Dongmiao
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TIKRIT, Iraq, July 7 (Xinhua) -- Two Iraqi journalists were killed and a third wounded in Friday while covering fierce clashes between the Islamic State (IS) militants and Iraqi forces at a village in Iraq's northern central province of Salahudin, a provincial security source told Xinhua.

The reporter Su'dad Faris and the photographer Harb Hazza', who work for Huna Salahudin satellite channel, were killed in the village of Imam Gharbi near the town of Shirqat, some 280 km north of Iraqi capital Baghdad, the source said on condition of anonymity.

The village was the scene of a fierce battle after the extremist IS militants took control of it the day before, and the Iraqi forces were fighting heavy clashes to regain control of the village, the source said.

The three journalists were ambushed by IS militants and were surrounded by the extremist militants at a compound in the village with some security members, the source said, adding that reinforcement troops are fighting to free the village and the besieged group inside.

A third reporter with the group was injured and still hiding in the compound with a fourth one, along with an officer from Salahudin provincial media office, the source added.

Imam Gharbi village was freed from IS during the troops advance earlier this year, but dozens of IS militants came from the desert area early on Thursday and took control of the village, the source said.

The Iraqi Journalists' Syndicate said in a report that up to 14 Iraqi journalists were killed in 2016, and more than 455 journalists have been killed in the country since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Iraq is considered one of the most dangerous countries for journalists, who have been frequently targeted by the chaos and insecurity since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

The incident came as Iraqi security forces, backed by the anti-IS international coalition, were simultaneously conducting a major offensive to dislodge IS militants from their major stronghold in western Mosul in northern Iraq.