Iraqi-Kurdish reporter and Kurdish-language Rudaw TV news anchor Shifa Zikri Ibrahim, known professionally as Shifa Gardi, was killed on February 25, 2017, by a roadside bomb while covering the Iraqi Army’s offensive against the Islamic State group in western Mosul, according to the network and news reports.
Gardi and her team were on a mission to investigate a mass grave where it was alleged that ISIS militants had killed and buried hundreds of civilians in Mosul, Rudaw’s Ranja Jamal said in an account of the incident published on Rudaw’s website. Rudaw’s team were trying to film the grave when the bomb exploded, killing Gardi and five members of a paramilitary force who had led her to the site, Jamal said.
Another eight people, including Rudaw TV cameraman Yunis Mustafa, were injured, according to Rudaw TV and news reports. Mustafa was airlifted to the northern Iraqi city of Erbil, where he was hospitalized. Rudaw TV said his injuries were not life-threatening.
According to the channel, Gardi presented a daily special program on the Mosul offensive on Rudaw TV, and had reported on the campaign from inside Mosul, continuing her coverage until an hour before she was killed.
Gardi, 30, was born a refugee in Iran in 1986 and graduated from Erbil’s Salahaddin University with a journalism degree. She started her career as a journalist in 2006, and joined the Rudaw Media Network since 2013, according the station and CNN.
Rudaw TV Executive Director Ako Mohamm told a crowd of Gardi’s colleagues and ordinary people gathered to pay respect to her body outside the network’s headquarters. “She was one of the very dedicated employees. She was an example of dedication,” Ako continued. He said the network has always instructed its journalists “to be behind the frontlines of the war.”