Syria: Photojournalist killed in shellfire explosion while covering fighting in Damascus

A Syrian freelance photojournalist was killed on 19 February while covering fighting in Damascus suburb of Daraya, according to media reports quoting the Anadolu Agency, one of the news outlets he contributed to. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns this killing, saying this is a reminder of the perilous environment Syrian journalists have been working for over five years of the conflict.

“We send our sincere condolences to his family and colleagues for their loss,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. “Syria has been a killing field for journalists who, for over five years now, put their lives on the line every single day to report on one of the deadliest conflicts in recent years.”

A colleague working from Anadolu Agency said that Dirani was killed photographing the shelling and aerial bombardments of Daraya, which has been under siege by the Syrian army since 2012. Dirani worked as a freelance journalist for Anadolu Agency since December, the media house said, and was also a contributor to a local media group dedicated to reporting news from the district called The Darayya Media Center.

Syria was one of the most dangerous countries for journalists in 2015. At least five reporters were killed in the country last year, according to IFJ statistics.

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The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 139 countries

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