Local journalists told CPJ that Liqaa Abdul Razzak, a news anchor at Al-Sharqiya TV, was traveling in a taxi with two companions when gunmen in another car opened fire on them. Abdul Razzak and at least one of the other passengers, a translator, were killed. The gunmen have not been apprehended or identified.
Journalists told CPJ that the motive for Abdul Razzak's killing is unclear. Her husband, a Tunisian national, worked as a translator for the U.S.-backed coalition until he was killed a few months ago, according to the sources. Abdul Razzak had worked at the coalition-backed Al-Iraqiya TV but left the station and joined the private Al-Sharqiyah about a month ago. According to press reports, Al-Sharqiyah is owned by the London-based Azzaman group, which also publishes a popular daily newspaper in Iraq.
The sources say they are not aware of Abdul Razzak receiving any death threats before the shooting. CPJ is investigating to determine if Abdul Razzak's killing was connected to her journalistic work.
Since March 2003, Iraqis employed by coalition forces or foreign organizations—including the media—have been particularly vulnerable to attack by armed groups. Several media employees have been gunned down by armed assailants or have received death threats.
According to CPJ research, at least 35 journalists, not including Abdul Razzak, and as many as 13 media workers, have been killed in hostile actions since March 2003.