(CNN) — At least one journalist was killed and six others injured on Friday in southern Lebanon when Israel fired artillery into the area they were gathered.
The incident — which impacted journalists from Reuters, the Agence France-Presse wire service and Al Jazeera — marks one of the worst press catastrophes yet to emerge from Israel’s war against Hamas. The journalists were wearing press-labeled jackets at the time of the attack.
The Israel Defense Forces acknowledged firing artillery into Lebanon, telling CNN that it was in response to an explosion near the security fence near a kibbutz. Additionally, a Lebanese security source told CNN that an Israeli Apache helicopter was seen over the site of the attack.
The IDF said Saturday it was looking into the “incident with [a] Reuters journalist” killed in southern Lebanon.
Without naming Abdallah, IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said his death was “a tragic thing,” which they are “very sorry for,” but did not admit it was an Israeli strike that took his life. He added that they have “visuals” of the incident and are cross examining them.
Reuters said in a statement that it was “deeply saddened” to learn that one of its videographers, Issam Abdallah, had been killed in the incident.
“We are urgently seeking more information, working with authorities in the region, and supporting Issam’s family and colleagues,” Reuters said.
The news agency said two other Reuters journalists, Thaer Al-Sudani and Maher Nazeh, were also injured in the incident.
The AFP said separately that two of its journalists, photographer Christina Assi and video journalist Dylan Collins, had been injured and taken to a hospital for treatment.
“We are deeply concerned that a group of journalists who were clearly identified have been killed and injured while doing their job,” Phil Chetwynd, the AFP’s global news director, said in a statement. “We send our deepest condolences to our friends at Reuters for the loss of Issam and we are all pulling for our injured colleagues in hospital.”
Al Jazeera also said that two of its journalists, Elie Brakhya and reporter Carmen Joukhadar, were wounded.
Prior to the Friday incident, at least 10 journalists had been killed since the onset of the war, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
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