Snipers in Damascus killed a correspondent for Iran's Press TV and wounded the network's bureau chief on Wednesday as they were reporting from the site of bomb blasts near the Syrian army headquarters, the channel said.
"Press TV correspondent Maya Nasser has been killed by sniper fire in the Syrian capital, Damascus," Press TV said in a bulletin on its news website.
Press TV’s newsroom director, Hamid Reza Emadi, told AFP that Nasser, a 33-year-old Syrian national, was killed instantly when he was shot in the neck while reporting live for the channel.
"He was giving his report when the line was cut off. After a few minutes we learned there was gunfire and he was killed," Emadi said.
"We hold Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar responsible for the murder of our correspondent in Damascus, (as) they provide weapons to the insurgents in Syria and the insurgents are using sniper fire... to provide an atmosphere of fear and intimidation among the local population as well as journalists," he said.
"We condemn the killing of any journalist in battlefields, including of course Maya Nasser."
Hussein Mortada, a Lebanese national who heads the bureau in Damascus for both Press TV and another Iranian network, Al-Alam, was wounded at the same spot when a sniper's bullet hit him in the back, he said. Mortada was being treated in a Damascus hospital.
Emadi said Press TV had other correspondents in Syria and "we try to provide them with security measures." He added, however, that it was difficult to protect against snipers.
Nasser's death added to a mounting death toll of around 66 Syrian and foreign reporters killed in Syria since the conflict broke out in March 2011, according to Doha Centre for Media Freedom.