Ahmet Haceroğlu, of Türkmeneli TV, was killed on October 21, 2016, by a gunshot wound to the chest while covering fighting between Kurdish security forces and Islamic State militants in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, roughly 175 kilometers (108 miles) south of Mosul, a police colonel in Kirkuk told Agence-France Presse. The journalist’s news outlet and police said the shot was fired by a sniper from the Islamic State group.
The station identified Haceroğlu as a manager from the satellite channel’s news division. A Türkmeneli TV employee, responding to CPJ’s inquiries via the station’s Facebook account, confirmed Haceroğlu died while covering fighting that erupted this morning when Islamic State militants launched a series of attacks in Kirkuk. The employee did not identify himself or immediately respond to additional questions. The head of correspondents for the station, Sami Beirakdar, told the website Al-Sumaria News that Haceroğlu was killed while attempting to return home from assignment.
Türkmeneli TV is headquartered in Kirkuk, home to many of Iraq’s Turkmen minority. On the morning Haceroğlu was killed, the city came under attack by militants from the Islamic State group. At least 80 people were killed after almost two days of fighting to clear the city of Islamic State militants, Kirkuk police Brigadier General Khattab Omer said, according to the Associated Press.
In the same week Haceroğlu was killed, at least one other journalist was killed and nine others injured covering the fight against Islamic State in Iraq, according to CPJ research.