A Kurdish video journalist with a channel backing Iraqi Kurdistan’s leader Massud Barzani was stabbed to death at his home overnight in disputed Kirkuk province, a security source said on Monday. Four armed men broke into the home of Arkan Sharif, a 54-year-old journalist with Kurdistan TV, at 2:30 am (2330 GMT Sunday) in the Daquq area south of Kirkuk city, the source said.
Sharif, a father of three, was stabbed five times after his family were locked up in another room, the source said. Iraqi security forces backed by Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitaries in mid-October seized oil-rich Kirkuk province from the Kurds in the wake of a Kurdish independence vote held in defiance of Baghdad.
Kurdish media have since accused the Hashed, an alliance composed mainly of Shiite militias, of carrying out a campaign of retribution against Kurdish civilians. Long-time Kurdish leader Barzani, the architect of the referendum, announced Sunday he is stepping down after it led to Iraq’s recapture of almost all disputed territories that had been under Kurdish control.