Israeli shelling along Lebanon border kills 1 journalist, wounds 6


ALMA Al-SHAAB, Lebanon (AP) — An Israeli shell landed in a gathering of international journalists covering clashes on the border in south Lebanon on Friday, killing a Reuters videographer and injuring six other journalists.

An Associated Press photographer at the scene saw the body of Reuters videographer Issam Abdallah and the six who were wounded, some of whom were rushed to hospitals in ambulances. Images from the scene showed a charred car.

“We are deeply saddened to tell you that our videographer, Issam Abdallah, has been killed,” the Reuters news agency said in a statement. The agency added that Abdallah was part of a Reuters crew in southern Lebanon that was providing a live signal.

Reuters said that two of its journalists, Thaer Al-Sudani and Maher Nazeh, were wounded in the shelling in the border area.

Qatar’s Al-Jazeera TV, said two of its employees, Elie Brakhya and reporter Carmen Joukhadar, also were among the wounded.

France’s international news agency, Agence France-Presse, said two of its journalists also were among the wounded, but the agency did not release their names.

Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati in a statement condemned Israel’s shelling that struck the journalists “during its aggression on southern Lebanon.”

At the United Nations, Secretary-General António Guterres expressed condolences to the family of the killed journa. “So many journalists are paying with their lives to bring truth to everybody,” he said.

U.N. spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric earlier said that the world body hopes for an investigation into what happened. “Journalists need to be protected and allowed to do their work,” he said.

Later Friday, dozens of Lebanon-based journalists and rights activists gathered outside the National Museum in Beirut to grieve over Abdallah’s death and the injury of the journalists.

“We are urgently seeking more information, working with authorities in the region, and supporting Issam’s family and colleagues,” Reuters said. “Our deepest condolences go out to those affected, and our thoughts are with their families at this terrible time.”

The shelling occurred during an exchange of fire along the Lebanon-Israel border between Israeli troops and members of Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group.

The Lebanon-Israel border has been witnessing sporadic acts of violence since Saturday’s attack by the militant Palestinian group Hamas on southern Israel.

Journalists from around the world have been coming to Lebanon out of concern that war might break out between Hezbollah and Israel.


Associated Press writer Jennifer Peltz contributed to this report from the United Nations.

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