French war reporter Yves Debay has been killed by sniper fire while reporting on Syria crisis in the northern city of Aleppo. A Turkish official said on Friday that the Belgian-born Debay was taken to Turkey, where medical staff pronounced him dead, after being shot once in the head and once in the chest on Thursday, Reuters reported. Photographs of Debay's body and of his press card were posted online. Debay, 59, was working for Assaut, a French magazine he founded and which specialized in defense matters. "France condemns this odious act and expresses its condolences, its sympathy and its solidarity with the friends and family of Yves Debay," French President Francois Hollande said in a statement.
Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders has said that at least 20 professional journalists, both foreign and Syrian, and 49 citizen journalists have died since the beginning of unrest in Syria.In October 2012, Press TV's correspondent in Syria, Maya Naser, was killed by sniper fire in Damascus while reporting live for Press TV. Press TV and Al-Alam Damascus Bureau Chief Hosein Mortada also came under attack and was injured. Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of army and security personnel, have been killed in the turmoil. According to a UN report, militants from 29 countries have so far filtered into Syria to fight against the Damascus government, most of whom are extremist Salafists. The Syrian government has repeatedly said that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and that a very large number of the militants operating in the country are foreign nationals. HM/JR