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Journalist among six people killed in Iraq

AFP , Sunday 24 Nov 2013
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Views: 623

A television journalist shot dead in north Iraq was among six people killed nationwide on Sunday, amid a surge in unrest the authorities have failed to quell.

The bloodshed, which has left around 200 people dead in the past week alone, has forced Baghdad to appeal for international help to combat militancy just months ahead of its first general election in four years.

Officials have also voiced concern over a resurgent Al-Qaeda emboldened by the civil war in neighbouring Syria which has provided the jihadist network's front groups in Iraq with increased room to plan operations.

In the restive northern city of Mosul, gunmen shot dead Alaa Edwar, a Christian journalist working for Nineveh al-Ghad, a local television network backed by provincial Governor Atheel al-Nujaifi.

Edwar was gunned down near his home in east Mosul, police and medical sources said.

His murder came after attacks last month in Mosul killed three journalists and badly wounded a fourth.

The predominantly Sunni Arab city is one of the most dangerous areas in Iraq, with militants frequently carrying out attacks and also reportedly extorting money from shopkeepers.

Iraq has come in for repeated criticism over shortcomings in media freedom, and ranks first in the Committee to Protect Journalists' Impunity Index, which tracks unsolved murders of journalists.

Nineveh province, of which Mosul is the capital, saw the lion's share of Sunday's attacks.

Two separate shootings killed an off-duty soldier and a civilian in Mosul, while a roadside bombing targeting a security patrol in Nineveh's west killed an army captain.

In southern Baghdad, meanwhile, gunmen killed a restaurant owner, and a gun attack targeting an army checkpoint in Balad north of the capital killed a soldier.

The government and security forces have insisted that raids and operations across much of western and northern Iraq, areas dominated by the country's Sunni minority, are having an impact.

But diplomats, analysts and human rights groups say the government is not doing enough to address the root causes of the unrest, particularly disquiet among minority Sunnis over alleged mistreatment at the hands of the Shia-led authorities.

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