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19 April 2024

Iraq journalist union chief dies days after attack

By Agencies

The head of Iraq's biggest journalist organisation died on Wednesday, colleagues said, four days after being seriously wounded by gunmen who opened fire on his car in Baghdad.

Shihab Al Tamimi, 74, was an independent journalist working for many local newspapers. He was known for his outspoken views against the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq and the continued presence of US troops on Iraqi soil.

He was also a stern critic of Iraq's sectarion violence.

"Shihab Al Tamimi died ... in hospital after being shot on Saturday," said Jabbar Tarrad, Tamimi's deputy at the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki had ordered that Tamimi be flown to Amman in Jordan for treatment, but doctors said he was too ill for the flight, another syndicate official said.

Tamimi was shot in the face, chest and shoulder when gunmen opened fire on his car, relatives and colleagues said.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called the Iraq war the deadliest conflict for journalists in recent history, with 126 journalists and 50 support workers killed since 2003. That figure does not include Tamimi.

The CPJ said on its Website that 32 journalists were killed in Iraq in 2007 alone. It had one recorded death so far for 2008, an Iraqi cameraman killed in a roadside bomb north of Baghdad in January. (Reuters)