A Lebanese cameraman of Al-Jadeed local television was shot dead on the country’s northern border with Syria on Monday.
A Lebanese cameraman of Al-Jadeed local television was shot dead on the country's northern border with Syria on Monday.
“Ali Shaaban was killed when the channel's film crew came under fire in the border area of Wadi Khaled,” AFP quoted Mariam Bassam, the channel's head of news, as saying without elaborating on the source of fire.
Shaaban, 32, was martyred when he and two of his colleagues came under gunfire from the Syrian side of the border, while they were trying to film a report about the situation there, the Al-Jadeed network said.
Reporter Hussein Khreis and cameraman Abed Khayyat managed to escape unharmed.
Khreis stressed that he and his colleagues were inside the Lebanese territory. “We didn’t come to venture ourselves,” he said.
Khreis called on the Lebanese security forces to declare the region of Wadi Khaled as military zone, saying he and Khayyat waited for more than two hours for the army and some residents to come and pull them out to safety.
Gunfire came from the nearby Syrian village of Armouta, The Associated Press quoted Lebanese security officials, Naharnet reported.
Local NBN television quoted a Syrian source as saying that Syrian authorities were investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting.
Meanwhile, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman called on Syria to conduct the necessary investigations in order to identify the perpetrators of the deadly shooting that targeted the Lebanese crew on Monday, “in order to prevent the recurrence of such attacks.”
Suleiman telephoned Al-Jadeed’s owner, Tahsin Khayyat, expressing his deep condolences, Al-Jadeed news bulliten reported.
He also asked the Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi, Higher Lebanese-Syrian Council chief Nasri Khouri and Lebanese Ambassador to Syria Michel Khouri to follow up on the investigations.
For his part, Lebanese Premier Najib Miqati on Monday condemned the deadly shooting from the Syrian side of the border at an al-Jadeed TV crew, urging Syria to “hold the perpetrators accountable.”
Miqati expressed “his grief over the martyrdom of al-Jadeed TV cameraman” while performing his professional duties in Wadi Khaled, northern Lebanon.
“We condemn and deplore the shooting from the Syrian side at the Lebanese media team, especially because they were operating within Lebanese territory, and we have asked the Lebanese Army command to open an urgent probe into the incident in order to unveil all its circumstances,” the PM’s press office said in a statement released a few hours after the incident.
“We condemn any attack against Lebanese citizens, especially journalists, and we will inform the Syrian side of our condemnation of this rejected act and we will demand an investigation into the attack and demand that the perpetrators be held responsible,” Miqati added.
Miqati also praised Al-Jadeed television for its “patriotism and professionalism” and Khreis and Khayyat for their “courage.”
However, Syndicate of Lebanese Press Photographers expressed "its deep sorrow at the death of fellow cameraman of Al-Jadeed TV Ali Shaaban, who was martyred while performing his professional duty on the Lebanese-Syrian border."
“Journalists and cameramen are messengers who deliver the concerns of the people and shouldn’t be treated as a party to any internal or external conflict,” the syndicate stressed in its statement issued Monday.
Al-Manar English Website expresses deep condolences to Al-Jadeed TV network and martyr Ali Shaaban’s family, praying to Allah Almighty to rest his soul in peace.