Al-Haydari, 44, was shopping in Mosul’s Al-Hadbaa neighborhood when four unidentified gunmen got out of their vehicle, gunned her down, and fled the scene, taking her cell phone with them, local journalists told CPJ.
Earlier, she had been reporting news of a suicide attack on a police station in the nearby town of Al-Rabiya, according to the National Iraqi News Agency. When a police captain called to give her more information, the killers answered her phone, telling him, “She went to hell,” according to a local journalist who spoke with the captain.
Al-Haydari had previously told CPJ that she had received many death threats. In early 2006, she was twice targeted for abduction; one attempt failed, and she was rescued the other time. In March 2006, al-Haydari told CPJ she had been shot, requiring surgery. In August 2006, gunmen killed her daughter’s fiancé.
In her final e-mail to CPJ, on March 22, al-Haydari said her name was on a death list composed of journalists and police officers. It had been circulated throughout Mosul and posted on her house door. According to the independent news agency Aswat al-Iraq, the list was issued by the “Emir of the Islamic State in Mosul,” the local leader of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State in Iraq.
Al-Haydari was a correspondent for the National Iraqi News Agency and Aswat al-Iraq, and a contributor to a number of other Iraqi media outlets. She also was a journalist trainee and correspondent for the London-based Institute for War and Peace Reporting, an organization that trains local journalists in war coverage. She visited CPJ’s offices in New York in late 2005, and CPJ helped relocate her husband and four children to Damascus, Syria, after she received death threats.