Harb Hazzah al-Duleimi, a reporter for the pro-government broadcaster Hona Salaheddin, was shot dead by a sniper from the Islamic State group, as he covered a July 7 Iraqi military operation to retake the village of Imam Gharbi from the militants, according to the pro-government station Salaheddin TV and news reports.
Al-Duleimi was trapped in a building alongside Salaheddin TV cameraman Sudad Faris, Samarra TV reporter Mustafa al-Wahadi, and Iraqi security forces when fighters from the Islamic State group launched a counteroffensive to retake the village of Imam Gharbi, south of Mosul, a spokesman for Salaheddin TV told CPJ. Al-Duleimi and Faris were killed immediately, he said.
On July 17, Salaheddin TV published a special report on its YouTube channel that said the bodies of al-Duleimi and Faris had not been recovered because of Islamic State attacks in the village. For several days, the channel posted videos of the journalists’ colleagues and family members calling on military and government officials for help in recovering the bodies.
On July 20, military officials said that they had found the bodies of the journalists, according to news reports. On the same day, Salaheddin TV posted a video to its Facebook page showing the journalists’ remains arriving in Tikrit, wrapped in the Iraqi flag in preparation for their burial.
Al-Duleimi reported primarily for the Hona Salaheddin program “Camera Salaheddin,” according to samples of his work on YouTube. The reporter covered stories from Tikrit including youth soccer tournaments, Ramadan celebrations, daily life after the city’s recapture from the Islamic State group, and interviews with business owners about the effects of recent attacks in the area.
Hona Salaheddin did not immediately respond to CPJ’s request for comment about al-Duleimi’s death and his work at the station, sent via social media.