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Three Lebanese employees of Al-Manar, a TV station owned by Lebanon's Hezbollah, were fatally shot yesterday in Al-Maaloula, a Christian town 60 km south of Damascus.
Al-Manar named the victims as reporter Hamza Al-Hajj Hassan, cameraman Mohamed Muntich and technician Halim Alouh. They were killed by shots fired by rebels still in Al-Maaloula after it was recovered by government forces backed by Hezbollah. The town had been in rebel hands for months.
The TV station said the vehicles being used by its employees clearly displayed "press" signs. They entered the town after the fighting was over.
Reporters Without Borders presents its heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims. A total of 13 foreign journalists and more than 20 Syrian news providers are still hostages or missing in Syria, while the government is holding around 40 Syrian journalists and citizen-journalists in its jails. Syria is ranked 177rd out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.<br/>