Photojournalist Killed in Mosul
One of more than 130 media workers killed since beginning of Iraq war
|An undated photograph shows Aswan Ahmed Lutfallah, 35, a television cameraman working for the Associated Press who was shot to death by insurgents while covering clashes Tuesday Dec. 12, 2006 in the northern city of Mosul. Lutfallah had been employed by AP Television News as a cameraman in Mosul since 2005. He is survived by his wife, Alyaa Abdul-Karim Salim, a 6-year-old son and a daughter who was born this year. (AP Photo)|
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A cameraman working for The Associated Press was shot to death by insurgents while covering clashes Tuesday in Mosul, police said. He was the second employee of the news cooperative killed in the northern city in less than two years.
Aswan Ahmed Lutfallah, 35, was having his car repaired in an industrial area in the eastern part of the city at about 10:30 a.m. when insurgents and police began fighting nearby and he rushed to cover the clash, police Brig. Abdul-Karim Ahmed Khalaf said.
Insurgents spotted him filming, approached him and shot him to death, Khalaf said, citing an initial report. Lutfallah had not reported any prior threats against him.
Lutfallah had been employed by AP Television News as a cameraman in Mosul since 2005. He is survived by his wife, Alyaa Abdul-Karim Salim, a 6-year-old son, Yusof, and an infant daughter, Rafa.
"Our hearts go out to Aswan's family and his Iraqi AP colleagues," said AP President and CEO Tom Curley. "The murder of yet another journalist underscores the particular dangers of this conflict and the sacrifices of those committed to reporting the story."
A funeral in Mosul was planned for Wednesday.
In five shootings in other neighborhoods of the city on Tuesday, gunmen killed four civilians and a policeman, said police Brig. Abdul Kerim al-Jubouri.
Violence in Mosul, 225 miles northwest of Baghdad, appears to have decreased since November 2004, when the city's entire 5,500-member police force deserted during a major insurgent uprising. But Iraqi security forces still struggle to maintain order in the city of Sunni Arabs, Shiites and Kurds.
On April 23, 2005, cameraman Saleh Ibrahim was killed after an explosion in Mosul. He was a father of five in his early 30s. AP photographer Mohammed Ibrahim was wounded.
The circumstances of the death and injury are still unclear.
Lutfallah was the third AP employee killed in the Iraq war. In 2004, Ismail Taher Mohsin, a driver, was ambushed by gunmen and killed near his home in Baghdad.
Lutfallah's death brings to 29 the number those who have lost their lives on assignments for the AP since the news cooperative was founded in 1846.
Before Tuesday's killing, Reporters Without Borders had recorded at least 93 journalists killed in Iraq since the war started nearly four years ago. Forty-five media assistants also have been killed, according to the Paris-based advocacy group.
The Committee to Protect Journalists had put the figure at 89 journalists and 37 media support workers killed in Iraq.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006 · Last updated 1:17 p.m. PT