Iraq: Journalist shot dead as Christians flee Mosul

38141_mb_file_6f0931.jpg A Kurdish journalist was shot dead in the northern city of Kirkuk, Iraqi police said. A New York-based journalists’ group said Saturday it was the 136th killing of a reporter since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq five years ago. Col. Taha al-Din of Kirkuk police said Diyar Abbas Ahmed, a journalist with Iraq Eye media, was assassinated Friday in the city center.

According to the AP, LatIf Fatih Faraj, head of Kirkuk’s journalist union, conveyed Ahmed was 28 and unmarried. He said Ahmed worked with several media stations including Iraqiya TV and a television station sponsored by a Kurdish political party.

Meanwhile, an upswing in attacks against Christians in Mosul has forced 500 families to flee in the last week and seek shelter at churches, monasteries and relatives’ homes, the governor of northern Iraq’s Ninevah province said Saturday. Duraid Mohammed Kashmoula estimated about 3,000 people have fled the city in what he called a “major displacement.”

So far this month, police in Mosul have reported finding the bullet-riddled bodies of seven Christians killed in separate attacks, the latest a day laborer found on Wednesday. According to Kashmoula, provincial security officials were meeting with Christian leaders to protect the community “from the terrorists, the killers.”