Hezbollah wants justice for slain reporter

April 10, 2012 at 12:11 PM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, April 10 (UPI) -- Hezbollah called on the Lebanese government to investigate the shooting of a Lebanese journalist killed near the border with Syria.

Ali Shaaban, a cameraman for al-Jadeed television, was killed by gunfire near the northern Lebanese border with Syria. Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star reported that his vehicle looked like it had been through a war zone. Al-Jadeed reporters Hussein Khreis and Abed al-Azim Khayyat survived the incident.

Hasan Fadlallah, a Hezbollah member of the Lebanese Parliament, told the newspaper the Shiite movement was seeking justice.

"We call on the Lebanese government to launch a probe into the incident and punish the culprits who targeted the media and its men," he was quoted as saying.

Hezbollah, in a statement published by its al-Manar media arm, said journalists were paying "a tax" for having the courage to cover the events in neighboring Syria.

Hezbollah is considered a Syrian ally. Lebanese lawmakers this week, however, expressed concern that the yearlong conflict in Syria could spill into its territory.

Khreis was quoted as saying he felt the Syrian gunfire was aimed directly at the crew while Khayyat lamented that Damascus was sending a "message in blood."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his condolences.

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