TV Correspondent Killed Covering Syrian Fighting for Assad's Side

Tuesday, 28 May 2013 09:52 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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The two-year-old conflict in Syria has claimed the life of another journalist, intensifying claimed by Amnesty International that the Syrian government and some rebels groups are targeting reporters covering the war.

Yara Abbas, a prominent television correspondent working for a pro-government channel had been covering clashing near the border with Lebanon, the country's Information Ministry told Al Jazeera.

Abbas’ crew was attacked by rebels near the town of Qusayr in Homs province, the ministry said in a statement carried by Syrian state television. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights activist group also reported her death on Monday, saying she "was killed by a sniper close to Dabaa airport," north of Qusayr. The group said other members of Abbas's crew were wounded, without providing further details.

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Amnesty International said dozens of reporters have been killed since fighting began. In a report released earlier this month Amnesty International officials said scores of journalists reporting on human rights abuses in Syria have been killed, arbitrarily arrested, detained, subjected to enforced disappearances and tortured over the last two years.

The organization said the abuses have been carried out by the Syrian authorities and armed opposition groups. The report "Shooting the Messenger: Journalists targeted by all sides in Syria," highlighted dozens of cases of journalists and media workers attacked or held since the 2011 uprising began, in an attempt to prevent them from reporting on the situation in Syria, including human rights abuses.

Syria's state-run Al-Thawra daily reported last week that nine journalists and 23 other crew members working for state-run media have been killed in the country over the past two years.

Several foreign reporters also have lost their lives covering the conflict, including award-winning French TV reporter Gilles Jacquier, photographer Remi Ochlik and Britain's Sunday Times correspondent Marie Colvin.

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Anthony Shadid, a correspondent for The New York Times, died after an apparent asthma attack while on assignment in Syria.

Journalists have also increasingly become targets for kidnapping. In August last year, a crew from Al-Ikhbariyah was abducted by anti-government forces before being later rescued by Syrian troops.

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