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AFP calls for thorough investigation after journalists killed, wounded in southern Lebanon
Agence France-Presse (AFP) has called on both Israeli and Lebanese authorities to conduct a comprehensive investigation to determine the circumstances behind and responsibility for firing along their border that killed and wounded journalists on assignment in southern Lebanon.
A Reuters video journalist was killed and six other journalists were injured, including two from AFP, near the village of Alma al-Shaab on Friday.
The Israeli military announced on Saturday that they are “looking into” the incident, without taking responsibility.
‘‘It is crucial that every effort is made to ascertain how a group of journalists, clearly identified and duly accredited, could be targeted in this way. We urge the relevant authorities not to settle for mere ‘checks’ but to carry out an in-depth investigation and provide well-documented, clear, and transparent answers,’’ said Fabrice Fries, AFP’s Chairman and CEO.
The journalists believe they were hit by fire coming from the Israeli side of the border.
‘We call on all parties involved in the ongoing tensions in the Middle East to respect the work of journalists and do everything in their power to ensure their safety,’’ said Phil Chetwynd, AFP’s Global News Director.
Among the two injured AFP journalists, photographer Christina Assi suffered severe injuries, particularly to her legs. She is currently in intensive care at a hospital in Beirut after undergoing nine hours of surgery. Video journalist Dylan Collins, who had previously been injured in Ukraine last July, sustained more minor injuries and could soon be discharged from hospital.Download PDF version