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The uncle (L) and father of Reuters journalist, Waleed Khaled, cry over his his body at Baghdad's Yarmouk hospital after he was shot in the Iraqi capital's Al Ghazalea district August 28, 2005. A record number of media staff died last year in the course of their work, as a trend toward the targeted assassination of journalists intensified, the International Federation of Journalists said on Monday. REUTERS/Ali Jasim
A record number of media workers died last year while doing their job, amid a growing trend toward the targeted killing of journalists, the International Federation of Journalists said on Monday.
At least 89 journalists were murdered because of their professional work, the IFJ said, out of a total of 150 media deaths in 2005.
"The numbers are staggering," IFJ general secretary Aidan White said in an annual report entitled "Targeting and tragedy - journalists and media staff killed in 2005."
"It was an unprecedented year ... the IFJ has counted 89 who were killed in the line of duty, singled out for their professional work. In 2005 the trend toward targeted assassination of editorial staff has intensified."
The largest number of deliberate killings, 38, was recorded in the Middle East, all but three of them in Iraq, making the region "by far the world's most deadly beat for reporters in the field," the report said.
On top of the 35 targeted killings in Iraq, the report noted that another five journalists were killed there by U.S. troops, including Reuters soundman Waleed Khaled, shot in the face and chest by U.S. military forces on August 28.
The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries