Two journalists die in Syrian fighting

Jan. 19, 2013 at 12:14 PM

DAMASCUS, Syria, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Two journalists have been killed in recent days while covering the civil war in Syria, their media organizations say.

Yves DeBay, a "battlefield junkie" who reported for the French magazine Assaut, and Mohamed al-Massalma, a freelance journalist for Al Jazeera, died in separate incidents in different parts of the country, CNN reported Saturday.

DeBay was killed in Aleppo, the French presidential palace confirmed Friday.

The French newspaper LeMonde said he died Thursday.

"France pays tribute to Yves Debay and other journalists in Syria, who are paying with their lives for their commitment to freedom of information," the palace said in a statement.

Al-Massalma was struck by three bullets fired by a sniper while covering fighting on the front lines near Daraa, al-Jazeera Media Network said in a statement Friday.

The network said the 33-year-old Syrian, who reported under the alias Mohamed al-Hoorani, "was known for his courage and accuracy of the news he provided from Daraa and the surrounding areas."

Al-Jazeera did not say exactly when Massalma died.

LeMonde, in a tribute to DeBay, called him a "battlefield junkie." DeBay had been a mercenary in Rhodesia and lived the life of a fighter, the newspaper said.

Several dozen professional and citizen journalists are among the more than 60,000 people who have died since fighting began in March 2011.

The opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria said at least 183 people were killed in Syria Friday, with 48 of the deaths in Aleppo.

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Topics: Al Jazeera
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