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Sister says Canadian journalist killed in Syria

By The Associated Press

This article was published March 9, 2014 at 2:42 p.m.

BEIRUT — A Canadian freelance photographer was killed in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on Sunday, his sister and activists said, the latest journalist to be killed covering a brutal war that has become the deadliest place in the world for them to operate.

Ali Moustafa died along with seven others when government aircraft dropped crude bombs and one exploded where was standing with firefighters in the rebel-held Hadariyeh area of Aleppo city, said an activist who identifies himself as Abu al-Hassan Marea.

Moustafa's sister, Justina Rosa Botelho confirmed her 29-year-old brother's death after activists sent her a photograph of his corpse. Moustafa was born in Toronto, Canada, the son of Pakistani and Portuguese immigrant parents.

"He just wanted the world to know about human rights and all the horrible things going on down there," Botelho said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "He was passionate for the world to know."

The family was not aware that he was in Syria. They were last in contact a week ago, when Moustafa told her that he was in Turkey, she said.

"He wanted to tell mom he was okay," she said. "He never told me he was in Syria. I guess he was trying to hide that."

Botelho said she and Moustafa shared the same mother.

Syria is the world's most dangerous conflict for reporters.

Since the Syrian uprising began in March 2011, more than 63 journalists have been killed by both forces loyal to President Bashar Assad and rebels seeking his overthrow, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.


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