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A fighter from Deir al-Zor military council which fights under the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) holds the council's flag in the village of Abu Fas, Hasaka province, Syria September 9, 2017. Two reporters died in car bombing attacks on October 12 in Abu Fas. (Reuters/Rodi Said)

Two Kurdish reporters killed on duty by car bombings in eastern Syria

October 16, 2017 5:37 PM ET

Beirut, October 16, 2017--Kurdish journalists Dilshan Ibash and Hawker Faisal Mohammed died from injuries sustained during October 12 suicide car bomb attacks that occurred in the eastern Syrian village of Abu Fas, where the two reporters were covering civilian displacement, according to their employer, Hawar News Agency, and the Syrian Journalists Association.

Ibash died at the scene of the attack on the Al-Kharafi road that links the Syrian cities of Al-Hasaka and Deir Ezzor. Mohammed died the next day at a hospital in the city of Qamishli of severe head injuries sustained during the blast, Hassan Ramo, editor-in-chief of the Hawar News Agency, told CPJ.

Rizgar Deniz, a third journalist from Hawar News Agency, which is affiliated with the Syrian Democratic Forces, was injured in the blast, according to Ramo.

Two people affiliated with the militant group Islamic State carried out the attacks, which left at least 15 civilians dead, not including the two journalists, and at least 100 injured, the Harwa News Agency reported.

Ramo told CPJ that the suicide bombers targeted a gathering of civilians.

"The deaths of Dilshan Ibash and Hawker Faisal Mohammed are a tragic reminder of the risks journalists continue to face when reporting on the Syrian conflict," CPJ Middle East and North Africa Coordinator Sherif Mansour said from Washington D.C. "We urge all sides to guarantee the safety of all civilians, including journalists."

Ibash joined the Rojava-based Hawar News Agency around the end of 2015 after working for several years as a war correspondent for the radio station the Voice of Kobane.

Mohammed had been working for the agency for two months at the time of his death.

At least 111 journalists have been killed in Syria since fighting began there in 2011, according CPJ research.

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