French, Kurdish reporters filming the battle for Mosul, killed in landmine explosion
Two foreign journalists were killed while working in Iraq’s Mosul, after a mine exploded in the war-torn city, public broadcaster France Televisions said on Tuesday.
Stephan Villeneuve and Kurdish reporter Bakhtiyar Addad died while accompanying Iraqi special forces during the battle to reconquer Mosul from the Islamic State group.
Two other French journalists were injured in the explosion in Iraq's second city, according to France Televisions and global journalist rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders.
"The management and staff at France Televisions sympathise with the pain of his partner Sophie, his four children, his family and all those he was close to. They offer their most sincere condolences," the head of the news department said in a statement.
Villeneuve, a video journalist who had covered a number of conflicts across the world, was filming a piece together with Veronique Robert on the battle of Mosul for French news programme Envoye Special, aired on public television channel France 2.
They were both taken to a hospital on a US military base following the explosion, but Villeneuve succumbed to his wounds.
Reporter Samuel Forey, who worked for a number of French media organisations including French daily Le Figaro, also suffered light injuries.
"I am very sad for Bakhtiyar and my colleagues, I ask you to not contact me for a couple of days," he wrote on Twitter.
According to International Press Institute’s Death Watch, Iraq ranked as the most dangerous place to be a journalist in 2016.
Half of the total deaths tracked in 2016, were war correspondents in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, the report confirmed.