BAGHDAD — Two television journalists were shot dead and three anti-extremist militiamen were killed in a bomb blast on Saturday in the latest attacks to strike Iraq.
The on-the-job killings are part of the deadliest surge in bloodshed to hit Iraq in five years, raising fears that the country is falling back into the spiral of violence that brought it to the edge of civil war in the years after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
A reporter and a cameraman for the privately owned Al-Sharqiya TV channel were shot — one in the head, the other in the torso — while working on a report in the city of Mosul, according to police. The city, about 220 miles northwest of Baghdad, is a former Sunni insurgent stronghold that has been one of the hardest areas of Iraq to tame.
Al-Sharqiya is one of several independent channels that took to the airways following the 2003 ouster of former dictator Saddam Hussein. It has drawn the ire of the current Shiite-led government with critical reports highlighting corruption, poor services and other shortcomings. Authorities suspended its operating license along with those of eight other Iraqi channels and pan-Arab broadcaster Al-Jazeera in April after accusing them of inflaming sectarian tensions.