Two separate news agencies are reporting their journalists have been killed in the Syrian capital, Damascus. Both were Syrian nationals, and both were killed on Saturday.
The Syrian state news agency, SANA, said its own reporter, Ali Abbas was assassinated at his home in the Jdaidet Artouz neighborhood. The report claimed Abbas's killers were “an armed terrorist group” – the government term for opposition forces. No further details were provided.
Bara'a Yusuf al-Bushi, the second journalist, was a stringer for the pan-Arab satellite television network Al-Arabiya and several other international news organizations. Al-Bushi was a defector from the Syrian Army and was killed during a bomb attack while covering events in the northern Damascus suburb of al-Tal.
Despite all the violence, anti-government protests are still continuing throughout the country, and even in Damascus. A demonstration was held on August 8 in the neighborhood of Kfr Suseh in Damascus, according to the Shaam News network, quoted by Reuters.
At least a dozen other journalists have been murdered in Syria during the course of the conflict over the past 18 months, although most were foreigners and nearly all were killed by government artillery, bombings, rockets and other Syrian Army gunfire. Recently, however, as the civil war has spiraled into the capital, local journalists are being targeted, and as lawlessness grips the nation a variety of groups are beginning to rise, including radical Islamists.
Anchorman Mohammed al-Sa'eed, who worked for Syrian state-run television, was abducted from his home in Damascus province on July 19. He was later executed after being interrogated and tortured by an Islamic jihadist group, the Al Nusra Front, according to the SITE monitoring group, which tracks jihadist websites.