Long-time Cairo correspondent Armbruster, 65, retired early this year but continues to do assignments for Germany’s public broadcaster ARD. He had been working on a TV documentary called ‘Between war and peace – the new Middle East’ in the rebel-controlled Syrian town of Aleppo when the vehicle he and his team were travelling in came under attack last Friday.
Besides the driver, other people in the vehicle were radio reporter Martin Durm, a cameraman and a producer, who all survived unscathed.
Durm told broadcaster SWR that he believes the minibus they were travelling in was targeted specifically by snipers from the roof of a building.
“This happens every day in Aleppo, in other battlegrounds in Syria,” Durm said. “People are blown away every day in Aleppo.”
After he was shot, Armbruster was rushed to a hospital in Syria and underwent emergency surgery. After being moved to Turkey over the weekend, he was flown to Germany on Monday.
Armbruster, who comes from Tübingen, worked from 1999 to 2000 and then again from 2010 to 2012 as a correspondent for ARD based in Cairo. During this time, he also presented the show Weltspiegel, which showcases reports from all over the world by correspondents of ARD’s foreign studios. Armbruster has reported on the Syrian civil war, the Arab Spring and the ouster of the former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
And though he might currently be lying in a hospital bed in Stuttgart, Armbruster is keen to get back to work.
“I’m doing well under the circumstances and it gets better every day,” he told SWR on Wednesday. “But the recovery process will take some time. When things are better, I would really like to finish the film project in the Middle East.”