BRUSSELS – At least ninety-three journalists and media staff were killed around the world while doing their job in 2016, with Iraq and Afghanistan being the deadliest countries, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said.

The IFJ said among those killed were 15 journalists in Iraq, 13 in Afghanistan, 11 in Mexico, eight in Yemen, six in both Guatemala and in Syria, five in India and also five in Pakistan.

The IFJ added the journalists killed in targeted attacks, bomb blasts or caught in the cross-fire. A further 29 died in plane crashes in Colombia and Russia.

“Any decrease in violence against journalist and media personnel is always welcome but these figures leave little room for comfort and reinforce hopes for the end of the security crisis in the media sector,” IFJ President Philippe Leruth said in a statement. “There cannot be impunity for these crimes.”

Regionally the Middle East was deadliest with 30 killings, followed by Asia-Pacific with 28, Latin America with 24, Africa with eight and Europe with three, the watchdog said.

In 2015, a total of 110 journalists were killed around the world in the course of their work.