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Iraq deadliest war for media since WWII

PARIS, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- The U.S.-led war in Iraq was the deadliest combat assignment for reporters since World War II, the group Reporters Without Borders said.

The group in a 13-page report said 230 members of the media were killed in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion by U.S. troops. The number is more than the number of reporters killed in the Vietnam War, making Iraq the deadliest war for the media since World War II.

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Reporters Without Borders in its report surveyed the environment for journalists working in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion to mid August when the last combat brigade withdrew from the country.

The group said that although the invasion led to the fall of the Baathist regime and ushered in a new era for the Iraqi media, the death toll from the war was "nothing short of disastrous."

The report found that at least 30 journalists were arrested by U.S. forces from March 2003 and August 2010. More than 93 were abducted during the war and Iraq at one time was the largest market for hostages in the world, the group said.

Riyad Assariyeh, a journalist working with the Arab news station al-Arabiya, was killed as he left his home Tuesday in Baghdad. Reporters Without Borders said it would "deplorable" if his killers were to go unpunished.

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