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Pakistan tops group’s list of journalists’ danger spots

By Chris Blake
Associated Press / December 16, 2010

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ISLAMABAD — Pakistan was the deadliest country for journalists in 2010, with at least eight media workers killed in the line of duty, a press advocacy group said yesterday.

In its year-end report, the Committee to Protect Journalists said 42 media workers were killed worldwide in 2010, down from the record 72 who were killed in 2009.

The toll “is still unacceptably high and reflective of the pervasive violence journalists confront around the world,’’ said Joel Simon, the group’s executive director.

Murder was still the leading cause of death, but a larger proportion of journalists were killed in suicide attacks and crossfire while on assignment in places such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Thailand than in past years, the group said.

Six of the journalists in Pakistan were killed in suicide attacks, while another 20 were wounded.

Simon called the deaths of journalists in Pakistan “a symptom of the pervasive violence that grips the country.’’

Journalists were killed in 20 countries in 2010. After Pakistan, the next deadliest places were Iraq, with four deaths, followed by Honduras and Mexico with three each.

Last year’s record number of journalist deaths was so high because of the massacre in the Philippines in which more than two dozen journalists and staff were gunned down.

The group said it was still investigating 28 other media workers’ deaths in 2010 to determine whether they were work-related.

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