Swiss journalist dies of Mosul mine blast injuries

Frederick Owens
June 24, 2017

A French journalist injured when a mine exploded in the Iraqi city of Mosul has died, her employer has confirmed.

Robert, 54, underwent surgery in Iraq and was flown to France for treatment on Friday, but died of her wounds in the capital, Paris, on Saturday, the public broadcaster said in a statement.

The mine explosion killed Iraqi journalist Bakhtiyar Haddad and French journalist Stephane Villeneuve while another freelance reporter suffered minor injuries.

Earlier in June, the journalist and her colleagues were accompanying Iraqi special forces in Mosul, where Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) has set numerous booby traps.

All three were working for production company #5 Bis Productions on a programme for the French news show Envoye Special, aired on public television channel France 2. Their colleague, independent journalist Samuel Forey, received light injuries.

Villeneuve subsequently succumbed to his wounds, France Télévisions said in a statement posted on Twitter early on Tuesday.

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Veronique Robert was an experienced war correspondent specialising in coverage of the Middle East, Iraq in particular.

Robert's producer, Nicolas Jaillard, wrote on Facebook that he had been hoping for better news, calling Robert "an extraordinary woman". "They offer their most honest condolences", the head of the news department said in a statement.

"The word sadness is not enough to describe how we feel", he added.

"She was extremely rigorous in the preparation of her reports", she added. Iraq is one of the world's deadliest countries for journalists.

Robert was a Swiss citizen, according to the French embassy in Baghdad.

The US-backed operation to retake Mosul from the terrorist group was launched in October of 2016. According to United Nations estimates, around 100,000 civilians are still trapped in the area.

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