Taha Shawkat Al-Halou

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Al-Halou was killed on his way back from covering airstrikes in Daret Ezza, a town in Aleppo province, on August 27, 2016, according to local news outlets and a colleague of the journalist.

Al-Halou was a former photographer and reporter for the Daret Ezza Media Center, an opposition media group that uses social media to circulate news and updates about Daret Ezza, according to Anas al-Hage, a member of the media office. Al-Hage told CPJ that Al-Halou left his job three months earlier to became a freelance photographer, and that he posted photos and updates on the situation in Daret Ezza on his personal Facebook page, which had more than 390 followers. He also shared his work on platforms including Instagram and Vine.

According to local outlets and the Syrian Network for Human Rights, al-Halou was killed while covering airstrikes in his town. Al-Hage said the freelancer died from a head injury on his way back from covering the airstrikes, when a missile launched by Syrian government forces hit him.

A graphic video posted on the Daret Ezza Media Center YouTube page shows the aftermath of the missile strike. Al-Halou's body can be seen on the ground next to his motorbike. Local outlets citing the media center reported that a second civilian was killed by the missile strike.

In his last Facebook post al-Halou reported that four airstrikes had hit the center of Daret Ezza. The media group's YouTube page posted a graphic video that day showing the airstrikes as they were happening, with a commentary that said it was the third day of airstrikes on the town, and showing injured people being transferred into an ambulance.

At least three civilians were killed and tens of others injured in airstrikes on Daret Ezza that day, according to news reports. The accounts differed on whether Syrian government or Russian troops were responsible for the strikes. By mid-November 2016, neither government had claimed responsibility.

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