Mohammed Ghanem

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Unidentified gunmen opened fire on Ghanem, a cameraman for the independent TV channel Al-Sharqiya, and his colleague, correspondent Mohammed Karim al-Badrani, while they were filming in the Al-Sarjkhana area of Mosul in Nineveh province, the station said. Both journalists were killed by shots to the head and chest, the reports said.

Reports said that the journalists were filming a report on a market in the Al-Sarjkhana area in the run-up to the holiday of Eid al-Adha.

It was unclear why the journalists were targeted. An unidentified Al-Sharqiya journalist told Agence France-Presse that recent reports by the station on security operations in Mosul had angered anti-government militants. The journalist said the station had received death threats by the militants.

But Al-Sharqiya, which is popular among Iraq’s Sunni minority, is also known for its critical editorial stance against the Shia-led government under Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. In April, the government suspended Al-Sharqiya’s license, along with those of nine other channels, after accusing the stations of adopting a "sectarian tone" in the aftermath of a security raid against Sunni-led demonstrations that killed dozens.

Atheel al-Nujaifi, governor of Nineveh province, said an investigation had been opened into the killing of the journalists and that the attack aimed to "muzzle the voice of people."

The channel’s news director, Ali Wajih, told The Associated Press: "This is not new for Al-Sharqiya. This is usual for Iraq, that they kill journalists."