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Al-Jazeera says cameraman killed in Syria


Doha: A 19-year-old Al-Jazeera cameraman was killed while covering fighting in the Syrian province of Daraa, the Qatar-based news channel said in a statement.

Mohammed al-Asfer “was martyred after being wounded as he was covering the battles in Manshiya” village between the opposition and regime forces, said the statement emailed to AFP yesterday.

The cameraman was an activist in Daraa, where the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime first erupted in 2011.

Asfer’s father was killed in the early days of the uprising and his brother was later killed in regime air strikes on Daraa, Al-Jazeera said.

Asfer was himself wounded early in the uprising while covering clashes as a stringer for Al-Jazeera before officially joining the pan-Arab news channel.

“This is a sad day in the history of Al-Jazeera. We have lost a young man full of life and hope,” said Al-Jazeera General Manager Yasser Abu Hilala.

Asfer represented “a complete generation of Syrians who dream of freedom and dignity, and were banned by the regime even from the right to stay alive,” he said.

Four more Al-Jazeera journalists have been killed in Syria since the uprising began, most of them in Daraa province, the channel said.

At least 230,000 people have been killed since the conflict started.

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