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Iraqi Kurdish TV reporter killed in Mosul

Shifa Gardi, killed by a roadside bomb, is the latest among scores of journalists to fall victim to conflict in Iraq in recent decades
Shifa Gardi reporting in Mosul for the Rudaw TV channel (Rudaw)

A female reporter working for Iraqi Kurdish channel Rudaw was killed by the explosion of a roadside bomb Saturday during fighting between government forces and militants in Mosul, her channel said.

"Prominent Rudaw war reporter and journalist Shifa Gardi has been killed in Mosul as she covered clashes," Rudaw said on social media.

"Journalism remains male-dominated - Shifa Gardi broke those perceptions and stereotypes - we pay tribute to her courageous journalism," the channel said.

Bayan Sami Rahman, the Kurdistan Regional Government's representative to the USA, herself a former journalist, told Rudaw that her country had "lost a courageous and professional journalist who cracked the glass ceiling," referring to her success as a female reporter in a male-dominated industry.

Rudaw editors told AFP that the 30-year-old reporter, who was born a refugee in Iran, was killed by an explosive device on a road in west Mosul and said that the cameraman working with her was wounded.

He was transferred to Arbil, the nearby capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region where the channel is headquartered.

Iraqi forces entered neighbourhoods of the west bank of Mosul on Friday for the first since the start on 17 October of a huge offensive to retake the city from the Islamic State group.

Gardi was the second journalist to die covering the Mosul offensive, in the first days of which a young Iraqi reporter for Al Sumaria TV, Ali Raysan, was killed.

Ranked 158th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders' 2016 World Press Freedom Index, Iraq is one of the world's most dangerous places for journalists.

"Shifa Gardi was one of Rudaw's most daring journalists," the channel said in a statement.

She had recently started presenting a daily show on the Mosul offensive, the early stages of which Kurdish peshmerga forces took part in.

Rudaw posted a picture on its website of Gardi holding a rabbit she found wounded while on assignment south of Mosul earlier this week.

"I brought it back with me. We will be treating the rabbit and then give it to an animal protection agency which is willing to look after it," she was quoted as saying.