New York, February 8, 2012—The Committee to Protect Journalists mourns the death of Syrian journalist Mazhar Tayyara, a stringer for Agence France-Presse and other international outlets, who was killed by government forces’ fire in the city of Homs early Saturday morning.
“We offer our condolences to the family and friends of Mazhar Tayyara,” said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. “The Syrian conflict is growing increasingly dangerous for all kinds of journalists, from citizens who have taken the role of documenting unrest in the country to international journalists who report from the frontlines.”
Tayyara, known as “Omar the Syrian,” was reporting from the Homs neighborhood of Al-Khaldiyeh when government forces shelled the district, the news website Citizenside reported. The journalist began helping people injured from the blasts when “a second volley of shells fell and he was hit,” Tayyara’s friend told AFP. The journalist sustained multiple severe injuries and died in the hospital within hours, news reports said.
Tayyara contributed news footage to the London-based daily The Guardian and the German daily Die Welt, according to news reports. His footage has also appeared on Al-Jazeera and CNN, AFP reported.
CPJ has documented the deaths of three journalists in Syria in four months. In November, cameraman Ferzat Jerban was found in Homs with his eyes gouged out. Basil al-Sayed, a videographer, was shot and killed at a Homs checkpoint in late December. French journalist Gilles Jacquier was killed in January while covering a pro-regime rally in Homs.