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Al-Jazeera Journalist Killed by Syrian Sniper

Sniper kills an Al-Jazeera reporter in southern Syria, the second such shooting of a journalist in two days.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 1/18/2013, 10:51 PM

Site of University of Aleppo explosion
Site of University of Aleppo explosion
Reuters

A sniper killed an Al-Jazeera reporter in southern Syria on Friday, the pan-Arab television network said, in the second such shooting of a journalist in two days in the conflict-swept country.

The killings take the death toll of reporters who have died in Syria's 22-month conflict to at least 20, according to AFP.

"Mohammed Hourani was shot dead by a regime sniper in Basra al-Harir in the province of Daraa, while he was covering the clashes there," Al-Jazeera said in a statement quoted by AFP.

The Qatar-based satellite news channel confirmed Hourani's killing, and described the 33-year-old Syrian journalist as "courageous and accurate" in his reporting.

Before joining Al-Jazeera, Hourani was an activist in the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, the broadcaster said.

Amateur video posted online and distributed by activists showed the moment that Hourani was killed.

Wearing a beige jumper and carrying a microphone embossed with Al-Jazeera's logo, he stood in a line of rebel fighters running one by one across a muddy alley, ducking as they sped to avoid being shot by snipers positioned nearby.

Hourani was hit as a sniper fired at least three shots, and fell to the ground.

He was the second reporter to be killed by snipers in 24 hours in strife-torn Syria, AFP reported. On Thursday, Belgian-born French journalist Yves Debay was shot dead in the northern city of Aleppo, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

“He was killed on one of Aleppo's fronts," said the Aleppo Media Centre, adding he was "shot by a regime sniper.”

Debay founded Assaut magazine, a French publication specializing in defense, AFP reported.

On Thursday it was reported that more than 100 civilians had been killed in a new “massacre” in Syria.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the deaths came on Tuesday, when the army swept through farmlands north of Homs city, where it said around 1,000 people had sought refuge from fighting in the central Syria metropolis.

On Tuesday twin blasts tore through an Aleppo campus while students were sitting exams.

At least 87 people were killed in one of the bloodiest attacks of the 22-month conflict, in a city that has suffered some $2.5 billion in damage in six months of bitter conflict, according to Aleppo's governor.

In another incident on Wednesday, twin car bombs killed at least 22 people in the city of Idlib.

The bombings had the hallmarks of operations staged by the jihadist Al-Nusra Front, a rebel group which has a strong presence on the ground in northwestern Syria and is blacklisted by the United States as a "terrorist" organization.

Al-Nusra is an affiliate of Al Qaeda, believing in the hope of reviving the Islamic Caliphate that will build a Muslim Empire to eventually rule the world.

The group is one of 13 factions in the radical Islamist rebel council that announced its secession from the main opposition force several weeks ago.

More than 60,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Syria's conflict, according to the United Nations.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)