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Iraqi police keep media cameras off bombing sites


18 May, 2007: The Iraqi police have started imposing restrictions on the media by limiting the coverage of terrorist bombings. On May 15, 2007, the police prevented photographers from filming an explosion in Baghdad.

Reporters on the scene of the May 15 bombings in Baghdad told the Arabic satellite television network Alalam that police fired their guns in the air to drive the news photographers and camera operators away from the site of bombing. The bombings occurred at Tayaran Square in Baghdad.

Brigadier-General Abdel Karim Khalaf, operations director at the Iraqi Interior Ministry, said the restrictions on the media were intended to preserve evidence needed for investigations and to protect the privacy and human rights of those wounded.

He said that restricting the media at bombing sites also would prevent those behind the attacks from measuring their success.

Brigadier-General Abdel Karim Khalaf denied allegations that limiting the media coverage was a move towards regulating freedom of the press and said that other countries have similar restrictions.

The United States and Iraqi forces launched a security crackdown in Baghdad three months ago in an effort to improve security in the capital. In Baghdad, often scores of people die each day in roadside attacks and suicide bomb attacks, and in sectarian violence involving the majority Shiites and the minority Sunnis.




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