A Syrian photographer who had contributed work to AFP has been killed by shelling in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor, a colleague said on Sunday.

Murhaf al-Modahi, known by the pseudonym Abu Shuja, was killed on Saturday in fighting between rebels and troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, a fellow photographer from Deir Ezzor said.

AFP's photography director for the Middle East and North Africa Patrick Baz said he had trained Abu Shuja in June, and that "he had made huge progress."

Abu Shuja "was part of this new generation of Syrian photojournalists" born of the country's brutal conflict.

The main opposition National Coalition also reported Abu Shuja's death, saying in a statement that he "died while carrying out his duty as a journalist."

The Coalition said he "picked up a camera and started documenting (the Syrian revolt) as soon as the first protests broke out in Deir Ezzor...

"He continued to work under the bullets, bombs and tank shells, defying the regime's military might."

International press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) describes Syria as the world's most dangerous country for journalists to work in.

It says that 25 journalists have been killed there, as have 26 citizen journalists, since March 2011 when the Syrian revolt began.