A Syrian freelancer who regularly contributes to AFP's photo and video coverage of his country's civil war was seriously wounded Tuesday during clashes between rebels and government troops in Aleppo province, colleagues said.
Zein al-Rifai, 28, was hit in the face and legs by shrapnel from what was thought to be a tank shell as he covered fighting north of Aleppo city, said colleagues from the Aleppo Media Centre, of which he is a co-founder.
He was taken to a local clinic, where doctors recommended he be evacuated to nearby Turkey, where he can receive the treatment he needs.
AFP global news director Michele Leridon said "we are deeply concerned for Zein's welfare and working with his colleagues to get him proper medical treatment."
"His important and courageous work in Aleppo has helped to convey the scale of the human suffering in the Syrian conflict to AFP subscribers around the world," said Leridon.
"This incident is another terrible reminder of the extreme risks facing journalists trying to document this terrible war."
Rifai's work, widely used by international media, focuses not only on the fighting but also the daily suffering of people in the northern city, once Syria's economic powerhouse, control of which is divided between the rebels and loyalists.