Syria 'to try to evacuate journalists from Homs'
DAMASCUS - Agence France-Presse
A handout picture released by Local coordination Committees in Syria (LCC Syria) on February 22, 2012 shows fire on the roof of a building in the Baba Amr neighborhoud of the flashpoint city of Homs, allegedly during the bombardment of the city. AFP photoThe governor of Syria's flashpoint city of Homs has been told to try to evacuate Western journalists killed or wounded in the city's besieged Baba Amr district, the information minister said on Thursday.
"For humanitarian reasons, and although they entered the country without a permit to go to an area controlled by terrorists, the governor of Homs has been told to exert every effort possible to evacuate the journalists," Adnan Mahmud told AFP.
Veteran US journalist Marie Colvin, working for Britain's The Sunday Times, and French photojournalist Remi Ochlik, with the IP3 Press agency, were killed on Wednesday when a rocket hit a makeshift media centre in the rebel district.
Edith Bouvier, a reporter for French daily Le Figaro and Sunday Times photographer Paul Conroy were wounded.
The British Foreign Office said on Thursday Conroy was "on his way out" of the besieged city.
"We understand that Paul Conroy is on his way out of Homs to a neighbouring country where he will be receiving medical treatment," a Foreign Office spokeswoman told AFP.
Syria's information ministry said it could not give details on whether or not Conroy had already managed to leave Homs.
Western powers condemned Syria over the killing of the journalists, with Washington denouncing the regime's "shameless brutality" and Paris holding Syrian authorities responsible.
But Damascus on Thursday said it was not responsible for the deaths of the journalists who had "sneaked" into the country, according to a foreign ministry statement.
French television reporter Gilles Jacquier was killed in Homs last month when a shell exploded amid a group of journalists covering protests in the city on a visit sanctioned and organised by the Syrian authorities.