Lebanon seeks journalist death probe

April 10, 2012 at 7:22 AM
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BEIRUT, Lebanon, April 10 (UPI) -- Lebanon asked Syria to investigate the death of a Lebanese cameraman shot by Syrian soldiers as the Tuesday deadline for a U.N.-brokered peace plan was ignored.

Fighting was still reported in several cities, opposition groups said, as U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan was to visit refugee camps in southern Turkey a day after Syrian forces fired across the border near a refugee camp, killed two Syrian refugees and wounded at least 23 other people, including a Turkish police officer and another Turkish citizen.

Ali Shaaban, 30, a cameraman for the Lebanese network al-Jadeed, was shot to death Monday in the Wadi Khaled area near the border with Syria, The (Beirut) Daily Star reported Tuesday.

A statement released by Lebanese President Michel Sleiman called on Syria "to conduct the necessary investigations to pinpoint responsibilities and prevent a recurrence of such attacks in the future," the newspaper said.

Tahseen Khayyat, the owner of al-Jadeed, said the Syrian attack on his crew appeared to have been intentional.

"Ali Shaaban became a martyr after the Syrian army opened fire on al-Jadeed's car," the newspaper said, quoting the station's news bulletin Monday night. The report said the vehicle was raked with about 40 bullets and Shaaban was struck by a bullet in the heart.

Reporter Hussein Khreiss, who was with Shaaban, told reporters they came under heavy fire for nearly 2 hours as they reported from inside Lebanon. He and a second cameraman, Abdul Azim Khayyat, survived after jumping from their car into a field. Khreiss said Shaaban was hit and unable to move, the newspaper said.

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