SHAATH, Lebanon: Hundreds of men and women, dressed in black and carrying Hezbollah flags, took part Tuesday in the funeral procession of Al-Manar journalist who was killed in Syria the day before.
Weeping and distraught, Hamzeh Hajj Hassan’s mother was surrounded by consoling relatives as she lead the women’s procession in the Bekaa Valley village of Shaath.
Hassan, 26, was among three Al-Manar staffers who were covering the Syrian army’s takeover of the Christian town of Maaloula in Syria when their vehicle came under heavy fire.
Technician Halim Allaw and cameraman Mohammad Mantash were also killed in the attack, the local television said, which was carried out by “takfiri terrorists.”
The shooting came hours after Al-Manar announced regime forces seized Maaloula and two other villages in the Qalamoun region, a mountainous area where the Syrian army backed by Hezbollah fighters have launched an offensive to root out rebels.
As soon as Hassan’s body arrived in an ambulance to the funeral, gunshots were fired in the air as the crowd chanted a popular slogan coined by Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nassrallah: “Humiliation is far from us.”
Women tossed flowers and rice on the coffin, which was covered with a yellow Hezbollah flag and carried on the shoulders of Hezbollah members dressed in uniform to the burial site.
Hassan along with other Al-Manar reporters have provided extensive coverage of the Qalamoun battles, accompanying soldiers and interviewing Syrian army officers.