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48 journalists killed worldwide in 2016, Syria and Somalia top: report

A total of 48 journalists were killed worldwide in 2016 in the line of duty, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in its annual report released on Monday.

The number has shown a slight decline compared to the previous year (72), the New York-based media watchdog said. However, the case of other 27 journalists who died this year continues to be investigated to determine whether their deaths were work-related.

Nevertheless, Syria has emerged as the most deadly country for journalists for the fifth year in a row, with 14 killed – the same number as in 2015 – CPJ said. The figure brings the total number killed there on duty since conflict broke out to at least 107, the report said.

Somalia tops the list of journalists killed in 2016 in Sub-Saharan Africa, CPJ said.

“It is undeniably good news that fewer journalists are being murdered, and the decline shows the critical importance of the fight to end impunity,” CPJ executive director Joel Simon said.

“However, journalists covering war continue to be killed at an extraordinarily high rate, a reflection of the brutality and unpredictability of modern conflict.”

Historically, around two-thirds of journalists killed are singled out for murder in retaliation for their coverage, compared with about one-third in 2016.

(with the assistance of CPJ-New York)

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