Yara Abbas, a correspondent for Syrian state TV, was killed by rebel fighters while covering the civil war in the hotly contested area of Homs, President Bashar al-Assad’s government announced Monday.
The Syrian Ministry of Information said Abbas, who works for Al-Ikhbariyah TV, was attacked by anti-Assad rebels near the Dabaa military base in Homs. Two crew members who were with the Syrian TV correspondent -- a cameraman and the cameraman’s assistant -- were injured in the attack, which the government said was an ambush.
Abbas and the other Al-Ikhbariya TV employees were covering Syrian civil war attacks near the country’s border with Lebanon, according to the Associated Press.
Both pro-Assad and rebel forces have sustained heavy casualties in the area during a clash in the area around the town of Qusair in Homs.
Shiite militant group Hezbollah, which has strong ties to Syria’s government, has been advancing on an area in Homs that is under rebel control. About 80 Hezbollah fighters have been killed in the civil war in May, with most of those casualties coming in Qusair, AP reports.
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Syria’s civil war began in March 2011. Since then, more than 70,000 people have been killed, according to a United Nations tally. Dozens of journalists have also been killed, kidnapped or wounded while covering the conflict.
Among the journalists killed were correspondents for state-run media such as Al-Ikhbariya TV, with nine reporters working for media controlled by the Assad regime killed since the civil war began, according to Al-Thawra, a state-run newspaper.
Other journalists killed during the war include Marie Colvin of the Sunday Times of Britain and television reporter Gilles Jacquier of France. New York Times correspondent Anthony Shadid died in Syria, but his death has been attributed to an asthma attack and not combat wounds.
Journalists covering the Syrian conflict also have to be vigilant about being victims of kidnappings. A crew from al-Ikhbariya was kidnapped by Syrian rebels; the Syrian government later activated troops that rescued the TV crew from anti-Assad forces.
Also, NBC journalists Richard Engel and his crew were detained in December by gunmen in northern Syria affiliated with Assad’s forces. Engel and his crew escaped without injury during a skirmish between their captors and anti-Assad rebels.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British organization, reported fighting in Qusair and Dabaa on Monday. The group said Hezbollah fighters captured the town of Hamidiyeh, near Qusair.
The observatory also reported three days of fighting between rebels and Kurdish gunmen in Aleppo. The group said the attacks killed 19 people -- three Kurds and 16 rebels.