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Former Reuters cameraman executed in Syria

A freelance cameraman who had previously worked for Reuters has been executed in Syria. Yasser Faysal al-Joumaili, an Iraqi, was the first foreign journalist to be killed in the rebel-held north of the country.

The Paris-based press freedoms watchdog Reporters Without Borders said the al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) seized al-Joumaili while he was on a reporting trip in northern Syria’s Idlib province on Wednesday.

Joumaili was then shot dead and his body later arrived in Turkey, although the exact circumstances of his death were unclear, the watchdog said in a statement on Thursday. Joumaili was from the Iraqi city of Fallujah and had three children, it added. He worked for Reuters in Iraq from 2003 to 2009.  At the time of his death he was on assignment for a Spanish media outlet.

Reporters Without Borders said Joumaili was the 20th professional journalist and 8th foreign journalist to die in the Syrian conflict, which started in March 2011 as a peaceful protest movement and slid into civil war after a crackdown.

Reporters Without Borders says Syria is the world's most dangerous country for journalists.


PHOTO: Iraqi freelance cameraman Yasser Faysal al-Joumaili poses for a picture in Falluja, 50 km west of Baghdad, on 22 November 2004. ■