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11 Jan, 2020 23:23

RT contributing cameraman killed in southern Iraq

An Iraqi cameraman, Safaa Ghali, who contributed to RT’s Ruptly video news agency as a stringer, has been killed in a shooting attack in southern Iraq alongside a local journalist.

Ghali was shooting footage for a local Iraqi TV channel and was working together with a local correspondent, Ahmed Abdel Samad, when they were assaulted by an unknown gunman. Both men were shot while they were sitting in a car in the Iraqi southern town of Basra.

On Friday, they were covering local protests still engulfing the city months after citizens first took to the streets in Baghdad and the Shiite-majority south to call for political reforms. The two journalists were about to leave the site of a protest when they were attacked.


Samad died from a gunshot wound to his head at the scene while Ghali was taken to a hospital but eventually succumbed to his injuries. Hundreds of people, including fellow
reporters, joined the funeral processions of the journalists on Saturday.

"Yesterday we lost two friends and colleagues, media reporters Ahmed Abdel Samad and Safaa Ghali," one mourner, Husien Albasri, told Ruptly. Another mourner, Ammar Razaq, praised the deceased reporters as the “voice” and “defenders of truth.”

Ghali worked as a freelance cameraman and stringer for RT and Ruptly and contributed at least 30 video reports, including those from the recent protests in Iraq.

It is not the first tragic event happening to RT stringers working in some hotspots around the world. In 2017, RT Arabic contributor Khaled Alkhateb was killed at just 25 years of age while reporting from Homs, Syria. The war correspondent was struck by a mortar shell launched by Islamic State (IS, former ISIS) militants while conducting an interview on the frontline.

RT then founded Khaled Alkhateb Memorial Awards in his memory, recognizing excellence in conflict journalism. Now, the broadcaster also attempts to contact Ghali’s family to offer any help they could need.

Also on rt.com Shining a light on conflict: RT honors best war reporting with 2019 Khaled Alkhateb Memorial Awards

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