Al-Oqda, a cameraman and reporter for the citizen news
organization Shaam News Network, was killed
when security forces launched an assault on his home in the central city of
Hama, burning his house and killing three of his friends, according to Shaam
and international media outlets citing local activists.
News reports said soldiers killed al-Oqda and his friends
first and then burned the house, but the exact manner of his death was not
reported. Agence France-Presse cited a media activist as saying that the
army had targeted al-Oqda’s house because of his coverage of the unrest.
Al-Oqda was preparing for a day’s work of filming when the assault occurred,
news reports said.
The 27-year-old journalist, who used the pseudonym Abu
Hassan, worked as Shaam’s reporter in Hama and filmed more than 1,000 videos
for the network and his YouTube
channel, according to news reports. He covered fighting between regime forces
and the rebel Free Syrian Army, bombardments by government troops, and civilian
deaths, news reports said.
Shaam News Network is a
Damascus-based citizen news organization that has posted tens of thousands of
videos documenting the unrest since the uprising began in March 2011. Shaam’s
footage has been used by several international news organizations, including
Al-Jazeera, the BBC, and CNN.