Journalist gunned down in Kirkuk

New York, October 10, 2008The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the murder of Iraqi reporter Dyar Abas Ahmed, who was shot by unidentified gunmen in Kirkuk today, according to news reports and CPJ interviews.

Ahmed, a correspondent with the independent online news site Eye Iraq, was killed in Kirkuk, 137 miles (220 kilometers) north of Baghdad, according to Kirkuk Police.

Ahmed, in his twenties, was walking in a street in the center of Kirkuk with a friend on Friday evening when he was attacked, Chief Sarhad Qadir of the Kirkuk police told CPJ. He said Ahmed was shot six times in the head and chest and declared dead at the scene. Qadir said the motives for the attack are not clear, and that he has launched an investigation.

“We express our condolences to the family and colleagues of Dyar Abas Ahmed,” CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney said. “We call on the authorities do everything in their power to track down Ahmed’s ‎killers and bring them to justice.”‎

At least 135 other journalists have been killed in Iraq in relation to their work since the U.S. invasion of March 2003. Kirkuk is not considered among the most dangerous spots for the press; CPJ research has found that four other journalists have died in the area since 2003.