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Associated Press journalist wounded in Syria

LONDON (AP) – A video journalist covering the Syrian uprising for The Associated Press was wounded while filming clashes between rebels and the Syrian army.

Ahmed Bahaddou, a Belgian citizen, was struck in the shoulder by a bullet during a firefight Friday in northern Syria and was evacuated Sunday to London. He was admitted to a hospital in stable condition, and the wound was not considered life threatening.

Bahaddou’s injury highlights the dangers to reporters seeking to cover Syria’s uprising, which activists trying to topple the regime of President Bashar Assad say has killed more than 14,000 people.

The Syrian government rarely grants visas to foreign reporters and strictly limits the movements of those allowed to enter. This has left most reporters relying on contacts with activists and amateur videos shot inside the country to cover the story.

Bahaddou and two AP journalists entered Syria on June 2 from a neighboring country in order to gain a firsthand look at the fighting in the country.

Syria’s uprising began in March 2011 with protests calling for the end of Assad’s regime. The government has violently cracked down as the dissent has spread, and many in the opposition have taken up arms to defend their towns and attack government troops.

Bahaddou was the 2011 winner of the Rory Peck Award for News for his coverage of the Libyan uprising for The Associated Press. He has worked in Syria as an independent cameraman on assignment for AP. In more than 20 years as a video journalist, he has had wide experience covering conflicts in the Middle East, the Balkans and elsewhere.

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