Bodies of reporters handed over

2012-03-03 20:00
Damascus - The bodies of two Western journalists killed in Syria were handed over to the French ambassador and to a Polish diplomat in Damascus on Saturday, a report said.

Veteran US reporter Marie Colvin of the Sunday Times and French photographer Remi Ochlik were killed in a rocket attack in the rebel Baba Amr neighbourhood of Homs on February 22.

Their bodies were taken to the French hospital in the Kassah neighbourhood.

French ambassador Eric Chevallier boarded an ambulance that carried the body of Ochlik, while the Polish diplomat went in a separate car behind another ambulance that carried Colvin's body.

The coffins are due to be kept in the hospital's morgue until plans are finalised to fly them to Paris.

The bodies were formally identified in Damascus by French and Polish diplomats on Friday.

The Sunday Times has said Colvin and Ochlik were killed when a rocket hit the front of the building they were in, burying them both in debris.

French reporter Edith Bouvier of Le Figaro newspaper and British photographer Paul Conroy were wounded in the attack.

Bouvier, 31, and photographer William Daniels, 34, who was not hurt in the rocket attack, were smuggled out of Homs by activists earlier this week to Lebanon and then flown to France.

The pair recounted their harrowing experience from the moment Syrian rockets began hitting their makeshift media centre and said Syrian forces seemed to be directly targeting journalists in Homs.

The United States closed its embassy in Syria in early February and pulled out all its staff after two deadly bomb attacks in Damascus in December and January and amid an intensification of the regime's crackdown on dissent.

France announced on Friday that it would close its mission.

Read more on:    syria  |  syria conflict

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