Al-Fagr photojournalist shot while covering protests in coma

Photojournalist Al-Husseini Abu Deif, who works for the privately-owned Al-Fagr newspaper, sustained a gunshot to the head Wednesday while covering the clashes at the presidential palace. Sources confirmed that he is in a coma and his condition is critical.

Al-Ahram newspaper reported Thursday that Abu Deif, 33, was shot from about 2 meters away while filming clashes between President Mohamed Morsy's supporters and opponents at the presidential palace.

His own newspaper has accused Morsy supporters of intentionally shooting him.

The photojournalist was filming people firing on anti-Morsy demonstrators with birdshot when his camera was snatched and he was shot, Al-Watan newspaper quoted Al-Fagr newspaper adviser Mohamed al-Baz as saying.

Baz claimed it was pro-Morsy protesters and not police who shot Abu Deif.

Birdshot pellets fractured his skull, according to the hospital's medical report.

Journalists Syndicate official Abeer al-Saady told Al-Masry Al-Youm that Abu Deif was being treated at Zahraa University Hospital in Abbasseya, which he said does not have a neurosurgery specialist. He appealed for a specialist to reach out to the hospital to save Abu Deif's life.

At least two journalists were attacked by police during recent clashes in Tahrir Square and the adjacent Simon Bolivar Square during protests against Morsy's November constitutional declaration.

The Journalists Syndicate had issued a statement demanding Interior Minister Ahmed Gamal Eddin issue strict orders to police to protect journalists, especially those covering protests.

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