Iraq: Iraqi photographer killed by gunmen in Mosul

New York, October 15, 2004—An Iraqi photographer working for a European photo agency was gunned down in front of his home yesterday in the northern city of Mosul, the second journalist murdered in Iraq that day.

Karam Hussein, a photographer working for the German-based European Pressphoto Agency (EPA), was killed by a group of gunmen in front of his home, EPA Editor-in-Chief Cengiz Seren told CPJ today. Seren said there was no known motive for the attack and that he was unaware of any threats against Hussein.

Four gunmen were waiting near the photographer’s home and opened fire when he exited, said Seren, citing the agency’s Iraqi sources. As Hussein attempted to flee the scene, he was pursued, shot again, and killed, Seren said.

Hussein’s most recent assignments involved an insurgent attack on a U.S. convoy on Wednesday, and a roadside bomb attack yesterday. Seren said there appeared to be nothing particularly controversial about his latest photography that would put his life in danger.

At least 33 other journalists and 13 media workers have been killed in Iraq by Iraqi forces, armed groups, and U.S. troops since March 2003. Iraqis employed by coalition forces or foreign organizations—including the media—have been particularly vulnerable to attack by armed groups.

Hussein began photographing for EPA in June after working previously for The Associated Press. He was one of two journalists murdered in Iraq yesterday.

The other was an Iraqi reporter for a local Arabic-language television station, who was killed in a drive-by shooting in Baghdad’s Adhamiya district. Dina Mohammed Hassan, a correspondent for the Al-Hurriya, was gunned down in front of her Baghdad residence as she waited for a car to transport her to work. The motive was not immediately clear. Al-Hurriya was evaluating claims by the Hassan’s neighbors and one of her friends that she was warned to stop working for Al-Hurriya and to start wearing an Islamic headscarf.