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SYRIA: Cameraman apparently shot by security officer [Video]

July 4, 2011 |  8:04 am

Shocking amateur video footage posted online Monday captures another heartbreaking moment in the brutal crackdown against peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators in Syria. 

The video, purportedly recorded on Friday in the town of Karm Shami in Homs province, reveals jerky footage filmed by a young man from the rooftop of one building. He documents gunfire before apparently being shot by an armed man wearing a military uniform. 

The cameraman's shaky voice takes the viewer through what he describes to be an arbitrary assault on civilians by a blurred figure in an army-green  uniform. Unsettling roars are heard throughout the neighborhood as the gunman gradually moves forward and indiscriminately opens fire.

Syria 1"The security [forces] shoot at fellow Syrians without any reason, without any protests," cries the cameraman, his panting voice penetrated by intermittent rounds of gunfire. After ducking behind stubby stone walls, the unidentified cameraman moves in sight of the gunman. 

In a quick moment, the cameraman and the shooter look directly at each other. The gunman fires a single shot, apparently bringing the young man to his knees. As the camera falls to the ground, chilling moans accompany fearful cries. 

"Oh God, oh God. The bullet has penetrated your head," weeps one man who comes up to the victim.

The cameraman’s whimpers slowly become inaudible as the video comes to an end. 

The identity of the cameraman remains unknown, but many have speculated as to whether he could be Diya Najjar, a protester and activist killed during Friday's protests, the same day the unknown cameraman is believed to have recorded the video. 

In a report issued by Human Rights Watch on Saturday, a witness is said to have seen Najjar being shot in the head when security forces opened fire on protesters gathered in the Homs region on Friday. 

"I saw Diya Najjar shot by a sniper in his head right in front of me," the witness told Human Rights Watch. 

The doctors who received Najjar in the Barr hospital confirmed that the victim was killed by a bullet to the head, the report said. 

Still, the identity of the cameraman remains a mystery.

"We cannot tell if the cameraman is Diya Najjar," said Nadim Houry, researcher for Lebanon and Syria at Human Rights Watch. 

-- Roula Hajjar in Beirut

Video: A young man documents gunfire in Homs before apparently being shot by an armed figure in a military uniform. Credit: YouTube