An Iraqi free-lance cameraman was seized and executed by Islamist militants in northern Syria, the head of the opposition-linked Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told Efe Thursday.

Yasser Faysal Al-Joumaili died Wednesday in Idleb province, Rami Abderrahman said.

Three bearded men intercepted Joumaili as he was traveling, forced him out of his vehicle and later shot him, Abderrahman said.

The killers were members of the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Reporters Without Borders said Thursday in a statement condemning the crime.

Joumaili, who worked in the past for Reuters and Al-Jazeera International, had been in Syria for 10 days to shoot footage for a Spanish news outlet, the press freedom watchdog said.

The body of the 35-year-old cameraman was taken to Turkey, according to Reporters Without Borders, known by its initials in French as RSF.

"Joumaili is the first foreign journalist to be murdered by an armed opposition group in northern Syria's so-called 'liberated' areas," RSF said.

The Iraqi's death brings to 27 the number of journalists killed in Syria since the country's civil war broke out in March 2011.

Twenty-two Syrian journalists are in the hands of various rebel factions, while 40 others are in government jails. Spaniard Marc Marginedas is one of 18 foreign news professionals in Syria who are either missing or held captive.

At least 125,835 people, including more than 11,000 women and children, have died since the start of the civil war, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said last week.

The figure includes deaths that occurred from the first protests against President Bashar al-Assad's regime on March 18, 2011, to Dec. 1, the London-based group, which has a large network of activists on the ground across Syria, said. EFE