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Media Rights Group Says 2004 Could Be Deadliest Year for Journalists

An international media rights group is warning that 2004 could become the deadliest year for journalists around the globe.

The Brussels-based International Federation of Journalists says 101 reporters and news media staff members have been killed worldwide since January.

The head of the group, Aidan White, says the deaths are shocking reminders of the dangers journalists face for a free press and democracy. He called for the issue of journalist safety to be urgently addressed.

The media group's latest victims include journalists killed this week in the Ivory Coast, Nicaragua and the Philippines.

The group says 62 journalists have been killed in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion of the country in March 2003.

Since the group began tallying the number of slain journalists in 1988, its deadliest year was 1994, with 115 deaths, including 48 in Rwanda during the genocide.