- CNTV English - CCTV News

Syrian troops free journalists kidnapped by rebels

08-16-2012 17:42 BJT Special Report:Crisis in Syria |

DAMASCUS, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian army carried out a " qualitative" operation against rebels on Thursday and freed the kidnapped journalists of the pro-government al-Ekhbaria TV, the state-run SANA news agency said.

Four staffers of al-Ekhbaria were snitched by armed rebels Friday when they were covering the unrest in the Damascus suburb of al-Tal.

Three of them appeared in an online video hours after the kidnapping, saying that the other staffer was killed. An alleged defector was standing near them, and claimed that the fourth reporter was killed due to the Syrian army's bombardment over the area.

The three staffers were freed Thursday and received by the state TV, recounting details of their days in captive.They said around 25 armed men captured them in al-Tal and stripped them of their money, cell phones, flak jackets and IDs. They also said their fellow, Hatem Abu-Yahia, was killed by the kidnappers "in cold blood."

Yara Saleh, one of the freed reporters, said the way Abu-Yahia was killed reflects the criminal nature of the kidnapers. She expressed deep gratitude to the Syrian army for its efforts to free them.

Another freed reporter, Hussam Aboud, said Abu-Yahia was shot around 30 times by the armed men, who also stepped on his dead body after he was killed.

Meanwhile, the ministry of information issued Thursday a statement of appreciation for the army's successful operation that led to the release of the journalists.

Attacks on local journalists have hit a new high lately with reports of missing, kidnapping or killing of reporters become increasingly common.

The Syrian government claimed Saturday that an "armed terrorist group" assassinated Ali Abbas, a journalist working for the state news agency SANA, at his residence in Jdaidet Artouz area in the Damascus suburb.On Aug. 4, al-Nusra Front, a shadowy group behind a number of suicide attacks in Syria over the past 17 months, claimed responsibility for the killing of a famous Syrian broadcaster, Mohammad al-Said, who was kidnapped near his house in Jdaidet Artouz by an armed group on July 20.

The incidents came at a time when the Syrian security forces were allegedly continuing the apprehension of journalist-activists, prompting the New York-based International Committee to Protect Journalists to plead with the government to release no less than 13 journalists held in Syrian jails.

Activists said hundreds of opposition activists are being detained in Syrian prisons.

Babacar Gaye, head of the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria, condemned recent attacks on Syrian journalists, saying that "we condemn violence against the media coming from any of the sides."



Editor:Zhang Jingya |Source:

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program