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NBC sends reporter back to Gaza after sudden exit

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 18, 2014 at 8:13 pm •  Published: July 18, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — NBC said Friday it was sending Middle East correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin back to the Gaza strip this weekend after he left the region for unexplained reasons following his eyewitness report on the killing of four Palestinian boys on a beach this week.

The network praised Mohyeldin for his "extraordinary reporting" throughout the conflict in Gaza. NBC said that as with any news team in combat zones, deployments are constantly reassessed.

Mohyeldin's firsthand reports on the deaths of the four boys Wednesday were aired on the "Today" show and MSNBC, and he tweeted that he had played soccer with some of the victims shortly before the attack. But then his social media account went quiet, and when NBC's "Nightly News" reported on the deaths Wednesday, correspondent Richard Engel did the story and Mohyeldin was nowhere to be seen.

His absence was immediately noticed in the news world. When NBC refused to discuss the situation, there was much online speculation that the network had problems with his reporting. Mohyeldin, who has worked extensively in the Middle East and reported for Al Jazeera English before joining NBC in 2011, has received some criticism of his reporting from pro-Israeli groups.

In announcing his return to Gaza on Friday, NBC still would not discuss Mohyeldin's temporary absence. But the network made a point to compliment him.

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