Beirut, June 1, 2017–Suhaib al-Heeti, a reporter for the independent Asia Satellite Channel in Iraq’s western Anbar province, was killed on May 30 in a suicide attack in the northern Anbar city of Heet, according to news reports, his employer, and the Iraq Observatory for Press Freedoms. He was at least the second journalist to be killed while working in Iraq in 2017.
Ruba Gamiyya, senior news producer at Asiasat TV’s Beirut office, told CPJ that Al-Heeti was killed covering a candlelight vigil in central Heet for the victims of a truck bomb that exploded near a popular ice cream shop in Baghdad’s Karrada district the night before. The journalist was killed when a man detonated explosives strapped to his body at a checkpoint near a school, killing himself, Al-Heeti, and at least 16 other people, according to news reports. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, media reports said.
“TV journalist Suhaib al-Heeti’s death covering a vigil for the victims of another suicide bombing underscores the incredible dangers journalists, like all civilians, face in Iraq,” CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour said from Washington, D.C.
Al-Heeti covered general news in Anbar province, reporting on teachers’ protests, snow storms, and the plight of street children, for example. He also worked as a freelancer for the private satellite channel Al-Fallujah TV, the manager of the broadcaster’s Facebook account, who did not identify himself by name, told CPJ.