A sniper has shot dead Al Jazeera freelance reporter Mohamed Al-Massalma in the southern Syrian province of Deraa, the Qatar-based media network has said.

"The Syrian journalist, 33, used the pseudonym of Mohamed Al-Horani. He was shot with three bullets, during covering the fights at the front lines in the town of Busra Al-Harir in the countryside of Deraa." the news channel said in a press release on Friday.

An Al Jazeera Media Network spokesperson affirmed that "targeting its collaborating journalists and crews will not change the editorial method and guidelines adopted by the network since it was launched 16 years ago for the sake of delivering the truth".

Before joining Al Jazeera, al-Horani was an activist in the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.

Targeting journalists

He was the second reporter to be killed by snipers in 24 hours in strife-torn Syria.

On Thursday, French journalist Yves Debay was shot dead in the northern city of Aleppo, watchdog the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

French President Francois Hollande offered condolences for the slain journalist.

Debay was covering clashes between rebels and forces loyal to President Assad when he was shot by a regime sniper.

Syrian rebels reportedly brought him across the border to Turkey, where a foreign ministry official said he was pronounced dead on arrival at the state hospital in the border province of Kilis early on Friday.

According to an AFP news agency count and the Paris-based rights group Reporters Without Borders, at least 20 professional journalists have been killed in Syria's 22-month conflict, alongside many civilians who have filmed or otherwise recorded the violence for the outside world.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies