Western Journalists Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik die in Syria


Marie Colvin a Sunday Times reporter an American, and award winning French photographer Remi Ochlik died when a shell hit a makeshift media center in the Baba Amr district of Homs.

Troops are shelling opposition held areas of Homs, plagued for weeks.

Thousands have died in unrest against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.

On Tuesday Rami al-Sayed, a man who broadcast a live video stream from Homs used by world media, was killed in Baba Amr.

The Red Cross has called on the government and rebels to agree to a daily ceasefire, to allow medical supplies to reach the worst affected areas and get civilians out, but there is no sign yet of this being agreed on.

Ms. Colvin and Mr. Ochlik were reportedly staying in a house in Baba Amr that was being used by activists as a media center when it was hit by a shell on Wednesday morning.

Rockets were also said to have hit the building’s garden when people tried to flee afterwards.

At least two other foreign journalists were wounded, activists said.

One was said to be the British freelance photographer Paul Conroy, who was working with Ms. Colvin, and Edith Bouvier of the French newspaper, Le Figaro.  Ms. Bouvier was said to be in serious condition.  The dead and the injured journalists are said to have been taken to a field clinic in Baba Amr.

Activists have expressed fears that Ms. Bouvier risks bleeding to death without urgent medical attention and they were trying to get her out.

Syrian state television said that information ministry had asked officials in Homs to determine the location of foreign journalists because it had learned that some may have been injured.

In Paris, the French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said his country held the Syrian government accountable for the deaths.  “Damascus owes us an answer,” Mr. Juppe said.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron told parliament:  “This is a desperately sad reminder of the risks that journalists take to inform the world of what is happening, and the dreadful events in Syria.”

The US state department said it was “another example of the shameless brutality” of the Syrian regime.

February 22, 2012