Al-Oqda, a cameraman and reporter for the citizen news organization Shaam News Network, was killed when security forces launched an assault on his home in the central city of Hama, burning his house and killing three of his friends, according to Shaam and international media outlets citing local activists.
News reports said soldiers killed al-Oqda and his friends first and then burned the house, but the exact manner of his death was not reported. Agence France-Presse cited a media activist as saying that the army had targeted al-Oqda's house because of his coverage of the unrest. Al-Oqda was preparing for a day's work of filming when the assault occurred, news reports said.
The 27-year-old journalist, who used the pseudonym Abu Hassan, worked as Shaam's reporter in Hama and filmed more than 1,000 videos for the network and his YouTube channel, according to news reports. He covered fighting between regime forces and the rebel Free Syrian Army, bombardments by government troops, and civilian deaths, news reports said.
Shaam News Network is a Damascus-based citizen news organization that has posted tens of thousands of videos documenting the unrest since the uprising began in March 2011. Shaam's footage has been used by several international news organizations, including Al-Jazeera, the BBC, and CNN.