The reporters of Al-Rabiah and Al-Baghdadiah TV channels in Babil Governorate stated that unknown gunmen shot at them on Wednesday evening (September 14, 2022).
Zaid Al-Shehib, a reporter for Al-Rabiah channel, stated in an interview with JFO that he and Zain Al-Shibli, a reporter for Al-Baghdadiya channel "were subjected to shooting late on Wednesday evening (September 14, 2022) by unidentified gunmen in one of the areas south of Babil." He said, "Due to the darkness, we could not pinpoint the shooting area."
Al-Shehib added that "a lawsuit has been filed with the competent authorities, and legal procedures are pending."
Al-Shehib refused to provide any additional information regarding the incident until the appropriate authorities made a decision, emphasizing that "we will freeze publishing until the official authorities settle the case."
On the other hand, Zulfiqar Al-Khafaji, the reporter for Al-Ahed TV channel in Babil province, survived an assassination attempt in the center of the city of Hilla, Monday (September 5, 2022).
Al-Khafaji spoke to JFO about the specifics of what he had been subjected to. He stated, "About a week ago, I was the target of an incitement campaign on social media, where my picture was published claiming that I am close to the Secretary-General of Asa'ib Ahl Al-Haqq Qais Al-Khazali."
"I do not even have a personal picture with Al-Khazali, and I do not have any friendship with him," Al-Khafaji added.
Al-Khafaji provided the following statement in regards to the incident that he was involved in: "Recently, I moved to a new house in the village of Al-Sajjad in the middle of Hilla, and at 11:20 pm on Monday (September 5, 2022). On my return home, I was surprised by armed men riding two motorcycles".
He said, "the attackers started shooting at me, and as I was carrying a weapon due to earlier threats, I had to fire back".
The gunmen withdrew after the locals heard gunfire following an exchange of fire that lasted for about 20 minutes, he noted.
Additionally, he said, "the Criminal Evidence Department found at the scene of the accident more than 31 empty Kalashnikov rifle casings, excluding the additional empty casings that were gathered by the neighbors."
Al-Khafaji stated that he "filed a lawsuit and it was settled against an unknown person," affirming his commitment to "remain working at Al-Ahed TV and broadcasting the news impartially, no matter what."
JFO calls on authorities in Babil to uncover the investigations into the two incidents, as well as the reasons for the increase of threats and attacks against journalists in Babil.