Syrian loyalists capture 2 journalists

2012-08-21 16:11
Syrians salvage what they can of their belongings from a building that was hit during a Syrian government airstrike in Aleppo, Syria. (Khalil Hamra, AP)

Syrians salvage what they can of their belongings from a building that was hit during a Syrian government airstrike in Aleppo, Syria. (Khalil Hamra, AP)

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Beirut - Syrian regime loyalists have captured two journalists in the northern city of Aleppo, where they were working for the Arabic-language Al-Hurra television station, a senior rebel said on Tuesday.

"The shabiha [pro-regime militiamen] captured a journalist and a cameraman working for al-Hurra," the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) commander in Aleppo province, Colonel Abdel Jabbar al-Okaidi, said.

"The Arab journalist was injured when he was captured, but the Turk was not."

Okaidi said the two were seized in the central district of Suleyman Al-Halabi where a Japanese journalist was killed on Monday, although this information could not be independently verified.

Al-Hurra said on Monday that it had lost touch with two reporters covering the fighting in Aleppo - Palestinian journalist Bashar Fahmi and Turkish cameraman Cuneyt Unal.

Driver's report

"We have seen the YouTube video in which the Free Syrian Army states that [the two] were captured and detained in Aleppo, Syria," said a statement from Middle East Broadcasting Networks, which operates the Washington-based Al-Hurra.

In an Al-Hurra news broadcast, the journalists' driver said they had been attacked by armed men dressed in rebel fighters' gear.

Meanwhile, a Lebanese television journalist who was reported missing on Monday has now left Syria, according to her employer Al-Jadeed.

Monday's death of Mika Yamamoto took to four the number of foreign journalists killed in Syria since the outbreak of a revolt against the regime of President Bashar Assad in March 2011.

According to Paris-based media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF), around 30 Syrian journalists and citizen journalists have been killed in the past 17 months.

Read more on:    bashar assad  |  syria  |  media  |  syria conflict  |  uprisings
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