BAGHDAD, (Reuters) – A bomb blast outside Iraq’s national journalists’ union in central Baghdad wounded the union’s head and three others on Saturday, an eyewitness said.
The explosion apparently targeting Muaid al-Lami, head of the Iraqi Journalists’ Syndicate, caused no deaths. “Some vehicles outside caught fire and it shattered all the glass in the building,” union member Hassan al-Aboudi, who was in the building at the time, told Reuters.
Police said six people had been wounded in the blast.
Aboudi said the bomb went off as the Lami was saying goodbye to guests at the entrance to the union. He was evacuated for treatment along with one guest and two of his body guards.
Gunmen shot and fatally wounded the former head of the Iraqi Journalists’ Syndicate, Shihab al-Tamimi, in Baghdad in February. He died of his wounds in hospital four days later.
Iraq is the most dangerous place in the world for journalists, according to the New York-based watchdog the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
About 130 reporters and 50 media assistants have been killed since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, CPJ says. Many have been killed by insurgents or other militant groups.
In one of the worst attacks, gunmen kidnapped and shot dead three Iraqi reporters from Iraq’s Sharqiya TV station and their driver in the volatile northern city of Mosul a week ago.