Syrian journalist Maya Nasser, a correspondent for Iran’s English-language Press TV, was fatally shot by a sniper yesterday while covering a twin bomb attack on military command headquarters in central Damascus and the ensuing fighting, Press TV reported. He died in hospital from a gunshot injury to the neck.
Hussein Mortada, a Lebanese journalist working as Damascus bureau chief for Iran’s Arabic-language TV station Al-Alam, also sustained a gunshot injury while covering the fighting. Tajamu’ Ansar Al-Islam claimed responsibility for the two explosions (one of which was a car-bomb) but not for shooting the two journalists.
Reporters Without Borders condemns the targeting of the Press TV and Al-Alam reporters and points out that, under UN Security Council Resolution 1738, journalists should under no circumstances be targeted by the parties to the conflict.
Aged 35, Nasser was the 12th professional journalist to be killed in Syria since the start of the uprising in March 2011.
It has meanwhile emerged that Abdelkarim Al-Oqda, a citizen journalist who had filmed many videos of the government’s violent crackdown its opponents, was killed during an assault by government forces on Arbaeen, a neighbourhood in the west-central city of Hama, on 19 September.
He died when soldiers attacked his home and set fire to it. An amateur video posted online by activists shows four charred bodies on the ground, one of them Al-Oqda’s. An activist said the army targeted his house because of his coverage of the uprising in Hama.
Aged 27, Al-Oqda was a cameraman and reporter for Sham News Network (SNN), providing thousands of videos about the clashes in Syria since March 2011. SNN’s videos are used by many international media such as Al-Jazeera and the BBC.
His tragic death brings the number of citizen journalists killed since the start of the uprising to 29.