Two foreign journalists buried in Syria as 2 flee

Last Updated: Friday, March 2, 2012 - 16:49

Beirut: Two Western journalists killed in the
Syrian city of Homs last week have been buried in the
embattled neighbourhood where they died, according to activist
videos, while two other reporters escaped into neighbouring
Lebanon.

The videos and the escape yesterday were steps toward the
end of the ordeal of six Western journalists who sneaked into
Syria illegally to report on the uprising against President
Bashar Assad and found themselves trapped inside the besieged
Homs neighbourhood of Baba Amr.

Complicating the picture, the Syrian government said late
yesterday, it had found the bodies of three Western
journalists including that of one who entered Lebanon
Wednesday and would return them to their countries.

A government rocket attack last week on a makeshift media
centre they were sharing with Syrian activists killed two of
the journalists and wounded two others, drawing attention to
their presence in one of the most dangerous places in a
country on the verge of civil war. It also led to intense work
by diplomats, activists and the Red Cross to try to get them
out.

American reporter Marie Colvin and French photographer
Remi Ochlik were killed in the February 22 attack that also
wounded French reporter Edith Bouvier and British photographer
Paul Conroy. Also stuck in the rebel-held neighbourhood, which
has been under a tight government siege and daily shelling for
nearly four weeks, were Javier Espinosa of Spain and William
Daniels of France.

Late yesterday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said
Bouvier and Daniels had been successfully smuggled across the
border into Lebanon. Conroy and Espinosa were both smuggled
into Lebanon this week in an operation that activists said
killed 13 people.

"I had (Bouvier) on the phone. She is with her colleague,
outside Syria," Sarkozy said during an impromptu news briefing
in Brussels. "She has suffered a lot, but she will give the
details herself."

Also yesterday, activists posted videos online showing
the burials of Colvin and Ochlik.

In the videos, a man who says he is Dr Mohammed Ahmed
al-Mohammed and who frequently appears in videos from the
neighbourhood, says activists decided to bury the two on
February 27 because the neighbourhood lacked electricity to
keep the bodies refrigerated. They had started to decay, he
says.

PTI



First Published: Friday, March 2, 2012 - 16:49

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