Canadian Photojournalist Killed in Syria

Ali Mustafa was killed in a helicopter barrel bomb attack in Aleppo along with 10 other civilians and four opposition members.

Canadian photojournalist Ali Mustafa was killed in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, AFP reports.

Mustafa, a freelancer who worked with the SIPA and EPA agencies, was killed Sunday, according to a local opposition official said. The Aleppo Media Center also reported the death.

"Four members of the (opposition) civil defense in Aleppo and 10 other civilians were killed, and dozens of others wounded, in a barrel bomb attack launched by helicopters against the Haydariyeh roundabout in the east of Aleppo city on Sunday morning," AFP cited the center as saying.

"A Canadian journalist, Ali Mustafa was also killed... as he tried to document the massacre," the center said.

The Canadian foreign ministry said it was aware of the reports. Mustafa's death was confirmed by his sister, Justina Rosa Botelho on Facebook. "Hope the world will understand what an angel my brother was. He cared more for others than himself," she wrote on her Facebook page.

Since early last year, Mustafa worked around the Mideast region, namely in Egypt, Syria, Israel and the Palestinian territories, as well as in Brazil.

Asked last year why he decided to cover Syria despite how dangerous it is for journalists, he said he "could not ignore this ongoing human tragedy." He added that "Syrian people feel abandoned by the world. They are asking for our solidarity," AFP said.

At least 27 professional journalists died in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011, according to Reporters Without Borders, and dozens more have been kidnapped or put in jail. More than 140,000 have died in the conflict overall.