A Reuters videographer was killed and six other journalists injured when an Israeli shell landed among a group covering clashes on the border in south Lebanon.
An Associated Press photographer saw the body of the Reuters videographer, Issam Abdallah, and six others being rushed to hospitals after the blast. Photos from the scene showed a charred car.
In a statement, Reuters expressed deep sadness at the loss of their videographer, Issam Abdallah.
“Abdallah was part of a Reuters crew providing a live signal from southern Lebanon when the blast occurred.” The agency said.
“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.”
Reuters said that two more of its journalists, Thaer Al-Sudani and Maher Nazeh, were wounded in the shelling in the border area.
The Qatar-based Al-Jazeera TV reported that two of its employees, Elie Brakhya and reporter Carmen Joukhadar, were among those injured.
The French news agency Agence France-Presse reported that two of its journalists were injured in the blast, but the agency did not release their names.
Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati issued a statement condemning Israel’s shelling that struck a group of journalists in southern Lebanon.
United Nations spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric called the deaths “another example of the daily dangers journalists face in covering conflict throughout the world” and said the world body hopes for an investigation into what happened.
“Journalists need to be protected and allowed to do their work,” he said during a briefing at UN headquarters.
Lebanese journalists and rights activists held a vigil outside the National Museum in Beirut to mourn Abdallah’s death and the injuries to the other journalists.
The shelling took place during an exchange of fire between Israeli troops and members of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, said the Israeli government would investigate the incident.
“We always try to mitigate and avoid civilian casualties. Obviously, we would never want to hit or kill or shoot any journalist that is doing its job,” he stated.
“But you know, we’re in a state of war, things might happen. We regret them. We feel sorry. And we will investigate it. Right now, it’s too early to call what happened there.”