Geneva: A total of 139 journalists from 29 countries lost their lives while doing their job in 2012, a 30-percent increase over 2011, the Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) said Monday.
Many of those deaths came among reporters covering the conflict in Syria, PEC Secretary-General Blaise Lempen said.
PEC said that, after the Iraq war, the civil strife in Syria has become the bloodiest episode for journalists since the beginning of the 21st century, with a total of 36 slain.
Somalia ranks second after Syria among the world's most dangerous countries for journalists with a death toll of 19, while Pakistan comes in third with 12.
Meanwhile three Latin America countries remain on the most-dangerous list this year.
In Mexico, ranked fourth in the world, at least 11 journalists were killed in drug-war incidents. Brazil has recorded 11 fatalities up to now, and in Honduras there were at least six.
The PEC investigation says that from Jan 11, 2008 to date, the number of journalists slain totals 569, or an average of 114 a year.
During those five years, the 10 countries where the most journalists died on the job were the Philippines, Mexico, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Honduras, Brazil, Russia and India, which together accounted for two-thirds of the victims.