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Beirut, February 26, 2024—An unknown number of armed and masked individuals in two trucks fired at least 17 times on the car of prominent Iraqi publisher and politician Fakhri Karim on Thursday before fleeing, according to multiple media reports and Facebook statements by his outlet.

The Committee to Protect Journalists on Monday urged Iraqi authorities to swiftly identify the attackers who attempted to kill Karim and hold them to account. Karim and his wife, Ghada Al-Amily, were uninjured in the attack.

Karim, publisher and editor-in-chief of Al-Mada newspaper, was on his way home after attending a book fair organized by the Al-Mada Foundation for Media, Culture, and Arts in the capital, Baghdad. Al-Amily is the director of the foundation.

The February 22 attack took place around 9 p.m. in the Al-Qadisiyah area of Baghdad, a highly secure area containing offices for Iraqi government security agencies and officers near the Green Zone, which hosts foreign embassies in Iraq.

Karim, 81, is a prominent politician and journalist who served as an advisor to the former Iraqi president Jalal Talbani and was a vocal opponent of the former Iraqi dictator and president Saddam Hussein, according to those sources. His outlet, Al-Mada, is seen as one of the only remaining critical newspapers in Iraq.

“The attempt to kill Al-Mada publisher Fakhri Karim in a highly secure area of Baghdad sheds a bright light on the darkness Iraq and its journalists are increasingly facing,” said Sherif Mansour, CPJ Middle East and North Africa program coordinator, in Washington, D.C. “Iraqi authorities should publicly announce the perpetrators and those who stand behind them and bring them swiftly to justice.”

In a Facebook statement released Friday, February 23, Al-Mada described the event as a “cowardly assassination attempt” and called for a criminal investigation. 

Iraq’s Interior Minister Abdul Amir al-Shammari said in a statement covered by media outlets on Friday that he directed the formation of a specialized security team to “intensify the security and intelligence efforts to reach the perpetrators and bring them to justice to receive their punishment.”

CPJ’s app messages to Karim and email to the Al-Mada Foundation for comment about the reasons behind the attack did not immediately receive any response.

CPJ emailed the Iraqi Interior Ministry for updates about their investigation but did not immediately receive a reply.

Source of original article: Middle East & North Africa Archives – Committee to Protect Journalists (
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