Mohammed Karim al-Badrani

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Unidentified gunmen opened
fire on al-Badrani, correspondent for the independent TV channel Al-Sharqiya,
and his colleague, cameraman Mohammed Ghanem, 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 had
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.”