Muhammad al-Ban

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Unidentified gunmen shot al-Ban, 58, a reporter and cameraman for the privately owned Al-Sharqiya television station, as he was leaving his home in Mosul's Al-Nour neighborhood around 8 a.m., according to CPJ sources.

The gunmen used a Russian-made BKC machine gun mounted on the back of a pickup truck, a standard weapon used by Iraqi police and security, a CPJ source said. Four men then got out of the vehicle and shot several more times, the source said. Al-Ban's wife was wounded in the attack, The Associated Press reported.

According to a CPJ source, al-Ban received several death threats warning him not to cover Kurdish activities in the north. The source said that al-Ban's last report, on a Kurdish educational festival in Arbil, was done in defiance of the death threats.

Al-Ban worked for three years at Al-Sharqiya and was well known as an experienced journalist, according to a CPJ source. He had also been deputy editor of the leading local daily Al-Masar but had resigned seven months earlier to focus on his work for Al-Sharqiya.


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