BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian soldiers shot dead a cameraman working for Lebanon’s Al-Jadeed television channel on Monday near the border between the two countries, the television channel said.
It said cameraman Ali Shaaban was on the Lebanese side of the frontier, in the northern Lebanese region of Wadi Khaled, when soldiers opened fire on a car carrying the Al-Jadeed crew.
Shaaban’s colleague Hussein Khreiss said the shooting occurred even though the crew had explained to the soldiers what they were doing. “We told our Syrian brothers ... that we are not military ... but they opened fire heavily on the car,” the channel’s website quoted him as saying.
Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati condemned the incident. “We deplore the shooting from the Syrian side on the Lebanese media team, especially as this team was carrying out its work inside Lebanese territory,” he said.
Mikati said he would ask Syria to investigate the shooting and ensure that those responsible were held to account.
Syrian state television quoted what it called a “media source” as saying the incident occurred at the same time that Syrian guards at a nearby border post had come under fire from a “terrorist group”.
Last month Lebanese residents said Syrian soldiers crossed into Lebanon’s Bekaa valley in pursuit of Syrian rebels, and there have been several reports of cross-border shooting or shelling which have wounded people inside Lebanon.
Writing by Dominic Evans; Editing by Alison Williams