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29 journalists killed in Iraq in 2015: report
A total of 29 Iraqi journalists were killed in the violence-ridden country in 2015, many of executed by the extremist Islamic State (IS) group, an Iraqi journalists' body said on Tuesday.
The latest body's count brings the death toll of journalists in the country to 435 since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
"There is fear for the safety of the Iraqi Journalists, who are still vulnerable to more attacks in the absence of the rule of law and ignorance of some government departments for the positive role of the press in correcting the courses of the political performance as well as detecting errors," said a report by the Iraqi Journalists' Syndicate.
The report showed that IS terrorists executed 20 in and near the IS-held city of Mosul for different motives during the year, and three others were killed while covering battles against the IS extremist militants, while six were killed in the almost daily violence in Baghdad and Iraqi cities.
According to the report, more than 43 offenses had been registered against the journalists during the year, ranging from abduction, beating and raids on their headquarters and houses to prevent them from reporting.
Such killings and other offenses came despite some positive indicators in general, like increasing confirmations by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi toward rejecting any kind of offenses against journalists, and his orders to set up investigative committees to follow up any offense that might happen against journalists and media outlets, it added.
Observers blame the current chronic instability, cycle of violence, and the emergence of extremist groups such as the IS on the U.S., which invaded Iraq in March 2003 under the pretext of seeking to destroy weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the country.
[Source: Xinhua, Baghdad, 15Dec15]
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