Majeed Mohammed

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A triple bomb attack in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk killed at least 85 people, including editor Mustafa Gaimayani and reporter Majeed Mohammed, and wounded more than 180 others.

A suicide attacker driving a truck packed with explosives detonated the vehicle near one of the offices of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani’s party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, in central Kirkuk, according to international news reports.

The blast damaged several adjacent buildings, including the offices of the Kirkuk Cultural and Social Association, killing Gaimayani, an editor for Kirkuk al-Yawm, and Mohammed, a sports reporter for the paper, Hashwan Dawoudi, deputy head of the association, told CPJ.

The association, which is funded by the Kurdistan Regional Government, publishes the weekly newspaper Kirkuk al-Yawm and the quarterly Kirkuk magazine, Dawoudi said.

At the time of the blast Mohammed and Gaimayani were preparing the weekly for publication, Dawoudi said. Seven other editors, including the editors-in-chief of both Kirkuk al-Yawm and Kirkuk were wounded in the explosion, he added.

Mohammed was also a correspondent and Gaimayani a writer for the Kurdish-language weekly Hawal, Dawoudi told CPJ. Seven years ago, Dawoudi established the Hawal Media Foundation, which published four newspapers, including Hawal and the Arabic-language weekly Al-Naba.

Gaimayani, who was also known as Mustafa Darwish, was in his mid-40s. He was a dual national with Swedish citizenship who moved with his family to Sweden in 1981 and returned to northern Iraq about four months earlier to work for the Hawal Media Foundation, Dawoudi told CPJ. Mohammed was in his mid-30s.