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At least 46 journalists killed in 2011: rights group

February 21, 2012

Slain Pakistani journalist Saleem Shahzad — File Photo

NEW YORK: At least 46 journalists were killed in 2011, with Pakistan the deadliest country for the second year running, a rights group said Tuesday.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said deaths during dangerous assignments -- such as covering street protests -- reached the highest level on record in 2011 as the Arab uprisings dominated the headlines.

Seven deaths were reported in Pakistan, followed by five each in Iraq, where attacks have continued despite the US withdrawal, and Libya, where a popular revolt against strongman Moamer Kadhafi escalated into a Nato-backed war.

“Seventeen journalists died while on dangerous assignments, many of them while covering the chaotic and violent confrontations between authorities and protesters during the uprisings that swept the Arab world,” the report said.

Photojournalists and camera operators accounted for 40 per cent of fatalities, more than twice the proportion CPJ has documented since it began keeping records in 1992.

The group also reported an increase in the deaths of Internet journalists, who “rarely appeared on CPJ's death toll before 2008.”CPJ said it was still investigating another 35 deaths in 2011 that may have been work-related.

Forty-four journalists were killed in 2010, according to the group.