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Journalist missing in Syria feared dead

AP, AFP

A pro-government TV station in Syria has said that one of its cameramen who was kidnapped three days ago is believed to have been killed.

A cameraman from Al-Ikhbariya TV, a pro-government station in Syria, is believed to be dead after being kidnapped with three others on Friday. (AFP)

The station said gunmen kidnapped the cameraman on Friday along with three other employees of the pro-regime Al-Ikhbariya TV.

A video surfaced online on Monday showing the three surviving members of the team. They said they were being held by rebel forces, who were treating them well.

A man who identified himself as a rebel spokesperson also appeared in the video, saying the cameraman was killed in government shelling. The general manager of Al-Ikhbariya TV said they believe he is dead.

It was impossible to independently verify the events shown in the video.

In June, gunmen raided Al-Ikhbariya's headquarters, killing seven employees.

'Deteriorating humanitarian situation'
Meanwhile, UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos announced on Monday that she is to visit Syria and Lebanon amid growing concern for the "deteriorating humanitarian situation" caused by the Syrian conflict.

The visit, planned from August 14 to 16, "aims to draw attention to the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria and the impact of the conflict on people either remaining in Syria and who have fled to other countries, including Lebanon", the UN office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs (OCHA) said in a statement.

While in Syria, Amos is expected to discuss ways of "urgently scaling-up relief efforts and reducing the suffering of civilians caught up in the fighting with the Syrian authorities, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and other humanitarian partners".

In Lebanon, the under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs will meet families who have fled from Syria and liaise with the government and humanitarian agencies.

Two-million people are now estimated to have been affected by the Syria crisis and more than one million are internally displaced as fighting continues in Damascus, Aleppo and other cities, OCHA said.

More than 140 000 people have fled the violence and crossed into Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq, according to the UN agency.

At least 21 000 people have been killed across Syria since the anti-regime revolt broke out in March 2011, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. – Sapa-AP, Sapa-AFP

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