Kurdish news reporter killed covering Iraq's battle for Mosul

She has been called "a courageous journalist who cracked the glass ceiling"

A female reporter working for a local Kurdish channel was killed in a roadside bomb attack while covering clashes between government forces and ISIL in Mosul.

30-year-old Shifa Gardi was a presenter and chief of output at Rudaw, a media group in Kurdistan funded by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). 

Rudaw news says that Ms Gardi was killed today in a bomb attack, and cameraman Younis Mustafa was injured on the outskirts of Mosul in a statement to the Associated Press.

"Prominent Rudaw war reporter and journalist Shifa Gardi has been killed in Mosul as she covered clashes," Rudaw said on social media. "Rudaw loses one of its most prominent journalists in Mosul today."

Ms Gardi was presenting a daily special program on the Mosul offensive on Rudaw TV, and had recently started to cover the unfolding war from inside Mosul.

Rudaw also said that "Shifa Gardi was one of Rudaw’s most daring journalists."

Falah Mustafa, head of Department of Foreign Relations of Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) described Gardi as a "role model to young women" in Kurdistan Region.

Further condolences from professionals in the field also paid tribute to Shifa Gardi's reporting, with Bayan Sami Rahman, the KRG's representative to the USA, herself a former journalist, referencing the work of the female journalist in a male-dominated profession in Kurdistan.

Iraq is one of the world’s most dangerous places for journalists, ranking 158th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders’ 2016 World Press Freedom Index.

Ms Gardi was reporting on the war on Sunday in different parts of western half of Mosul where Iraqi forces have launched a fresh offensive about a week ago to reclaim the last major stronghold of the ISIS group.

Mosul is ISIS' last major urban stronghold in Iraq, but the battle to retake its western half is expected to be the most challenging yet, since the streets are older, narrower and is densely populated with an estimated 750,000 civilians trapped in the area.