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Survey: 137 Media Workers Killed In 2009

BRUSSELS (AP) ¿ This year has been one of the worst on record for the deliberate killing of reporters and media staff, an international journalists' association said Thursday.

A total of 137 journalists and media personnel were killed in 2009, according to the Brussels-based International Federation of Journalists.

It said 113 were singled out because of their profession and 24 died accidentally.

The 113 "targeted killings" tally was one of the highest ever recorded, said the federation. It listed the Philippines, Mexico and Somalia as the most dangerous countries for journalists this year.

The total 2009 death toll of 137 compares with a federation tally of 109 and 175 in 2008 and 2007, respectively.

"Last year's drop in the murder rate of journalists has been short-lived," International Federation of Journalists President Jim Boumelha said in the statement.

"The devastating massacre of 31 journalists and media staff in the Philippines in November and fresh violence against colleagues in Mexico and Somalia have made this a year of terrible bloodshed for media."

The federation represents more than 600,000 journalists in 125 countries. Its death tally covers all people employed by media organizations who died in the line of duty, including not only journalists but also interpreters and drivers.

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