Skip to content.
Updated at 2:18 pm on 5 August 2012
A well-known Syrian television presenter who was kidnapped from his Damascus home in mid-July is reported to have been executed.
A little-known Islamist group called the al-Nusra Front has claimed responsibility for the execution of Mohammed al-Saeed.
In a statement, al-Nusra says the death is a lesson to all those who support the regime.
"The heroes of western Ghouta (in Damascus province) imprisoned the shabih (pro-regime militia) presenter on July 19," al-Nusra says. "He was then killed after he had been interrogated."
Posted on a forum featuring the al-Qaeda flag, the statement is accompanied by a photograph of Mr Saeed looking frightened, with his back against a wall in an unknown location.
Contacted by the news agency AFP, state TV director Maan Saleh said: "We have no material proof of this killing."
The BBC reports that like other jihadist groups operating in Syria al-Nusra (full name: Jabhat al-Nusra li-Ahl al-Sham, or Front for the Protection of the Syrian People) invariably kills its hostages without demanding ransom.
Meanwhile, Iranian state media are reporting that 48 Iranians have been kidnapped while on a pilgrimage in the Syrian capital, Damascus.
The pilgrims were reportedly seized by "armed groups" on the Damascus airport road as they returned from a religious shrine.
Syrian state television has since given the same account of the incident.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand
Audio is categorised based on the frequency of the programme it was heard in. Click on the headings below to access the programmes. For the most recently published audio, go to the latest audio page.
Streams are in Windows Media format. Mac and Linux users may need to install additional software. Get help with audio
A selection of music interviews, reviews, videos, concerts, sessions, and performances.
Downloads and podcasts are available for selected programmes. Our podcast page has a complete list of feeds.
Help on using online audio: formats, software, podcasts, downloading, and troubleshooting.