TV presenter among 19 killed in Iraq attacks

More than 6,450 people in Iraq have been killed in violence since the beginning of the year

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Gunmen murdered a female TV presenter in northern Iraq on Sunday, making her the sixth journalist killed in less than three months, while other attacks left 18 dead, officials said.

Nawras al-Nuaimi was shot near her home in Mosul, al-Mosuliyah TV said, and was the fifth journalist killed in the city since October.

Mostly Sunni Arab Mosul is one of the most dangerous cities in Iraq, with militants frequently carrying out attacks and reportedly extorting money from shopkeepers.

In the deadliest single attack Sunday, bombs exploded near a Turkmen Shiite family’s house in the Khanaqin area of Diyala province, killing a man, his wife and their three children, police and a doctor said.

And bombings mainly targeting Shiite areas in and around Baghdad killed at least nine people and wounded 27.

In the northern province of Kirkuk, gunmen killed two people and wounded a third, while three blasts in the Tuz Khurmatu area of nearby Salaheddin province killed two people and wounded three.

The killing of Nuaimi was just the latest deadly violence targeting journalists in Iraq.

On December 5, Kawa Ahmed Germyani, the editor-in-chief of Rayal magazine and a correspondent for Awene newspaper, was gunned down in front of his mother in Kalar, a town in Sulaimaniyah province in the autonomous Kurdistan region.

Following that killing, media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders said it was “worried about the very dangerous climate for journalists both in Iraqi Kurdistan and the rest of Iraq, and about the impunity enjoyed by their attackers and killers.”

Germyani’s death came after that of Alaa Edwar, a Christian journalist working for the Nineveh al-Ghad television network, who was shot dead in Mosul in November.

And al-Mosuliyah cameraman Bashar Abdulqader Najm and two journalists from the Sharqiya television channel -- correspondent Mohammed Karim al-Badrani and cameraman Mohammed Ghanem -- were killed in Mosul in October.

Iraq has come in for repeated criticism over shortcomings in media freedom, and ranks first in the Committee to Protect Journalists’ Impunity Index, which tracks unsolved murders of journalists.

Bloodshed in the country has reached a level unseen since 2008, when Iraq was emerging from a period of brutal sectarian conflict.

More than 6,450 people have been killed in violence since the beginning of the year, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources.

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