Both sides in the 17-month conflict have been accused of human rights violations as reports of cold-blooded killings mount.Graphic footage showed a crowd of people shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest) as they gathered around several bodies on the ground before another three victims were seen being hurled from the top of the building.The incident was said to have taken place in rebel-controlled al-Bab near the northern metropolis of Aleppo and the victims were identified as postal workers, but it was not clear when it occurred.
“These are the heroes of Bab city who are inside the post office,” the man shooting the video said.
When the body of one man was thrown to the ground, the crowd is heard shouting: “This is a shabiha,” referring to the pro-government militia.The video could not be independently verified.
Elsewhere, a pro-government Syrian TV station said on Monday one of its cameramen who was kidnapped three days ago was believed to be dead while others were being held by rebels near the capital Damascus.The station said gunmen kidnapped the cameraman on Friday along with three other employees of the pro-regime al-Ikhbariya TV while covering the violence in the Damascus suburb of al-Tal.
The three surviving members of the team appeared in an online video, saying they were being held by rebel forces who were treating them well.A man who identified himself as a rebel spokesman also appeared in the video, saying the cameraman and two members of the Free Syrian Army rebel group were killed in government shelling while on a tour in al-Tal to shoot destruction in the area.It was impossible to independently verify the events shown in the video. But the general manager of al-Ikhbariya TV said they believed the cameraman was dead.The head of the United Nations observer mission in Syria on Monday condemned attacks on the media.
“Whatever the country, the UN is committed to the freedom of the press and the media,” General Babacar Gaye told reporters in Damascus.”In this country, the press has a tremendous role to play, so we condemn any violence on the media coming from any side,” he said, also accusing both the army and rebels of failing to protect civilians.
In June, gunmen raided al-Ikhbariya’s headquarters, killing seven employees.
Journalists have suffered a number of casualties in the 17-month-old uprising against President Bashar Assad, and in recent months there have been several attacks on pro-regime media.
On Saturday, a reporter for state-run news agency SANA was killed in his Damascus home, while another working for the pan-Arab Al-Arabiya TV was killed in a blast in al-Tal.
The deaths came as activists reported clashes and shelling between government troops and rebels in areas including Damascus and its suburbs, the central province of Homs, and the southern region of Deraa.
Activists also released a video which they said showed a government Soviet-made MiG warplane catching fire apparently after it was hit by ground fire over the eastern province of Deir Ezzor.
The warplane appears to be turning into a ball of flame, although it was impossible to independently verify the video.
(Al-Akhbar, AP, AFP)
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