Journalist killed by sniper fire in eastern Syria
A journalist falls to the ground amid sniper fire in the ancient Christian Syrian town of Maalula. (file photo)
A cameraman working with a Beirut-based television channel has been killed in eastern Syria, becoming the latest journalist to lose his life in the war-torn country.
The privately-owned channel said Abdel Qader was killed on his 27th birthday while covering clashes between Syrian troops and foreign-backed militants in Deir Ezzor.
In a telephone interview, a Syrian army officer told the broadcaster that the cameraman died in hospital after he was "shot in the neck by a sniper from a distance."
Dozens of journalists, including a Press TV correspondent, have been killed in Syria since the deadly conflict began more than three years ago.
The US-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has described Syria as the most dangerous country in the world for journalists, blaming al-Qaeda-linked militants for kidnappings and murders of journalists, even in neighboring Iraq.
According Reporters Without Borders (RSF), over 130 news providers were killed in Syria between March 2011 to December 2013.
More than 130,000 people are said to have been killed and millions displaced in Syria since the country plunged into rampant violence in March 2011.
The Western powers and their regional allies -- namely Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – have reportedly been supporting the militants operating inside Syria