Hassan was killed when Syrian rebels attacked his car in the Syrian city of Maaloula, according to Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV channel. Hassan, who worked for Al-Manar, had gone to Maaloula to report on the aftermath of intense fighting between Syrian government soldiers, Hezbollah, fighters, and rebel forces when rebel forces opened fire on the convoy in which Hassan was traveling. Government soldiers were also killed in the attack, the station said.
Al-Manar also said that its cameraman, Mohammed Mantash (also known as Abu Jaafar), and a technician, Halim Allaw, were killed. However, contradictory information on the identities of the staff members and the events of that day have so far precluded CPJ from establishing that their deaths were related to journalism. Manar has not responded to multiple requests by CPJ for comment and a Hezbollah spokesperson declined to comment.
Hassan had reported for Al-Manar on local news, including the war in Syria, among other topics. The attack led to widespread condemnation in Lebanon from politicians and journalists as an assault on press freedom, according to news reports.
A widely distributed picture shows Hassan in camouflage holding what resembles an anti-tank missile. It is not clear when or where the picture was taken. A video posted on YouTube by an unknown user appears to show Hassan in civilian clothing after he was killed.