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2006 Deadliest Year for Journalists Since 1994


The press freedom group Reporters Without Borders says 2006 was the deadliest year for journalists in more than a decade, with at least 81 journalists killed for reasons related to their job.

The group says at least 32 media assistants were also killed while performing their job or for expressing their opinion.

Iraq was the world's most dangerous country for the media for the fourth consecutive year, with 64 journalists and media assistants killed. The group says since fighting began in 2003, 139 journalists have been killed in Iraq - more than twice the number killed during the 20-year-long Vietnam War.

Reporters Without Borders also says it began recording journalist kidnappings for the first time, logging 56 in 2006. The two riskiest places for kidnapping were Iraq and the Gaza Strip.

The group says Mexico moved ahead of Colombia as the second deadliest country for the media. At least nine journalists were killed there in 2006 while investigating drug trafficking or social unrest.

Reporters Without Borders also singled out attacks on journalists in Russia, the Philippines, Turkmenistan, Lebanon and Bangladesh.

It also said about 30 internet Web loggers (bloggers) were arrested and held for several weeks, in several countries including China, Iran and Syria.

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