Hamada, cameraman for Al-Ahad TV, was killed in an attack in northern Diyala province, the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate and Iraqi news outlets reported. Moataz Jamil, a correspondent for the station, was also injured in the attack. Al-Ahad TV is affiliated with the Shia militant group League of the Righteous, according to Phillip Smyth, a researcher at the University of Maryland who focuses on Shia Islamist groups.
The station reported that Hamada was killed as the crew reported on military operations in Diyala province between what it called the “Islamic Resistance” and “terrorists.” CNN reported that Iraqi security forces, backed by Shia militias, clashed with suspected ISIS gunmen in Diyala that day.
The deadly attack came amid escalating clashes between the Iraqi government and its allies against an insurgency spearheaded by Islamic State, an Al-Qaeda splinter group formerly known as Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS).
There were conflicting reports on how Hamada was killed, with some outlets reporting the journalists were hit by a mortar shell while others said gunmen drove up to them and opened fire with automatic weapons.
Al-Ahad TV did not provide details on the attack or an update on the health status of Jamil, the wounded journalist. The station did not immediately respond to CPJ’s e-mailed request for more information.
It was not clear who was responsible for the attack or whether the journalists were targeted specifically. Some Twitter accounts claiming to support ISIS rejoiced at the news of the attack, declaring the “lions of Islamic State” were responsible. CPJ was unable to verify the claims.