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The image shows journalists demanding protection. — File photo

GENEVA: Last year was one of the deadliest on record for journalists, with 141 killed in 29 different countries and Syria the most dangerous place on earth for reporters, a media watchdog said Thursday.

The Swiss-based Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), which fights for the protection of journalists, said the figure was up by 31 per cent on 2011.

At least 37 journalists, among them 13 working for foreign media, were killed in Syria, it said in a statement.

Four journalists are reported missing or detained: Ukrainian Anhar Kochneva, Jordanian-Palestinian Bashar Fahmi, freelance US reporter Austin Tice and another American reporter James Foley, who has contributed video to Agence France-Presse.

The situation in Somalia has deteriorated dramatically, where 19 were killed, said the PEC.

Three Latin American countries followed among the most dangerous places: Mexico with 11 journalists killed, Brazil also with 11 dead, and Honduras, where six journalists were killed.

The Philippines ranked number seven with six killed, followed by Bangladesh and India with four each, said the PEC.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists for its part said last month that 67 reporters were killed in 2012, up 42 per cent from the previous year, due in large part to the Syria conflict, shootings in Somalia, violence in Pakistan and killings of reporters in Brazil.

The Paris-based press rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) meanwhile put the number of those killed at 88 last year.

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