Veronique Robert, who held French and Swiss nationalities, died in Paris on June 24, 2017, of wounds she sustained on June 19 while reporting on elite Iraqi soldiers’ battle to retake central Mosul from militants from the Islamic State group. Robert, her colleague from the production house #5BisProductions Stephane Villeneuve, and Iraqi fixer Bakhtiyar Haddad, all died of injuries they sustained when an improvised explosive device exploded as they traveled by foot through Mosul’s old city with Iraqi Special Forces, according to news reports. French freelance journalist Samuel Forey was also embedded with the group but was only lightly injured, Forey wrote on social media.
Alex Kay Potter–a nurse who was on the initial treatment team and who acts as director of communications for Global Response Management (GRM), an international nonprofit that provides medical care on the frontlines of conflicts–told CPJ that Robert, Haddad, Villeneuve, and Forey were initially treated at a trauma stabilization point run by GRM and Iraqi Special Operations Forces. Robert, Villeneuve, and Forey were then transported to a nearby military medical facility for further treatment, Potter said.
Robert and Villeneuve were subsequently flown to a medical facility in Al-Qayyara, some 76 kilometers (47 miles) south of Mosul, and then to Baghdad for further treatment. According to news reports, Robert underwent surgery in Baghdad and was flown to Paris for further treatment on June 23, 2017. She died of her wounds a day later.
Robert was an experienced conflict journalist, having covered conflicts in Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Iraq for clients such as Paris Match and Marianne. She and Villeneuve were filming a report for the public broadcaster France 2 when they were killed.