Habiba Ahmed Abd Elaziz Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: Habiba Ahmed Abd Elaziz, a 26-year-old staff reporter of XPRESS, a sister publication of Gulf News, was shot dead in Cairo on Wednesday morning.

Family members said she was shot at the Rabaa Al Adawiya Square in Cairo. Scores were reported dead as troops stormed the pro-Mursi camps.

Habiba was not on any official assignment and had gone to her home country on annual leave.

She joined Gulf News on September 11, 2011, interning as a community journalist for the Readers Desk. 

Habiba subsequently joined XPRESS on April 1, 2012 after earning her Journalism degree from the American University of Sharjah (AUS). She covered the police and court beats for XPRESS.

Her younger sister, Arwa Ramadan, who lives in Sharjah, said Habiba was in the mosque at the Square this morning.

“My mom [in Sharjah] spoke to her close to Fajr [early morning prayers], but when she called again a 12 noon, there was no response. She called again, and somebody picked up the phone and told her Habiba was dead. My dad, who is in Egypt right now, confirmed it later.”

XPRESS deputy editor Mazhar Farooqui said the entire team is in a state of shock. “It’ s hard to believe she’s gone. She was passionate about her work and had a promising career ahead.”

Habiba was the eldest of three sisters and a brother. The family is set to fly to Egypt tonight.