Journalist attacked by gunmen in Iraq

BAGHDAD – Gunmen seriously wounded one of Iraq’s best known radio and television journalists near her home in the capital yesterday, police said.

The attackers were waiting in parked cars and opened fire just as Amal al-Moudares left her house at 7:45 a.m. in the western neighborhood of Khadra, police said.

She was critically wounded and hospitalized for treatment, police said.

Al-Moudares, who is in her 60s, began working for state-run television in 1962 and was known by many Iraqis for her weekly program “10 Minutes,” which focused on odd stories from around the world.

She later worked for Baghdad radio until the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003.

She rejoined the state-run station after it began to broadcast again, and her work has included the daily program “Studio 10,” which allows Iraqis to complain about the many problems they now face with city services such as electricity and sewage.

During the 1990s, al-Moudares also was a Baghdad-based correspondent for Egyptian television.

Al-Moudares is a Shiite Muslim whose family originally came from the city of Diwaniyah, 80 miles south of Baghdad.

In an interview in July with the Web site Iraq Media Net, she said: “My hope is that peace will prevail in the land of peace [Iraq]. Our beloved country is the land of love and brotherhood. Our ambition is that our radio station be the green oasis that unites all Iraqis.”

Since the start of the war, 100 journalists have been killed in Iraq, 80 percent of them Iraqis, according to figures compiled by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. At least 37 media support staffers such as drivers also have been killed, making Iraq the deadliest conflict for the media in recent history, it said.

On April 5, Baghdad police found the bullet-ridden body of Khamael Muhsin, another famous radio and TV presenter, and a good friend of al-Moudares’. Muhsin had been kidnapped two days earlier.

Forty-eight journalists have been abducted and remain missing since 2004, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.