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A total of nine journalists killed in Syria since start of the unrest, RSF says

posted 22 Feb 2012, 04:34 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 22 Feb 2012, 04:35 ]

Two foreign journalists confirmed dead and at least 3 seriously injured in Homs says French NGO Reporters Without Borders. Nine journalists have been killed in Syria since the start of the unrest.

PARIS, FRANCE (FEBRUARY 22, 2012) (REUTERS) - Two Western journalists were killed and at least three seriously injured in the besieged Syrian city of Homs on Wednesday (February 22) when shells hit the house they were staying in, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said.

They were Marie Colvin, an American working for Britain's Sunday Times, and French photographer Remi Ochlik, the Syrian Network for Human Rights said.

A witness contacted by Reuters from Amman said shells hit the house in the Baba Amro district of Homs in which they were staying and a rocket hit them when they tried to escape.

"The latest news that we have is that there is two foreign journalists have been killed this morning in Homs, Remi Ochlik, a French photographer and Marie Colvin, working for the Sunday Times and we also got the information that four, at least three or four foreign journalists have been injured, on of them is a French journalist Edith Bouvier, a freelancer working for the Figaro and Radio France International and she's for the time being badly injured," said Soazig Dollet, from Reporters Without Borders in Paris.

Both were veteran correspondents of wars in the Middle East and elsewhere. Colvin was a fearless reporter who lost an eye when she suffered a shrapnel wound while working in Sri Lanka in 2001. In public appearances after that attack, she wore a black eye patch.

Ochlik was born in France in 1983 and first covered conflict in Haiti at the age of 20. Most recently he photographed the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

Activists in Homs say at least two other foreign journalists were wounded. One was named as British photographer Paul Conroy.

Another, a female American journalist, is in a very serious condition, they said.

"We still don't know if the building where they were was deliberately targeted by the attack so we are still investigating on this," added Dollet calling on Syrian authorities to stop the shelling.

Pro-opposition areas of Homs have been under a sustained bombardment from government forces since Feb. 3. Several hundred people have been killed, activists say.

The Syrian conflict is especially dangerous for journalists to cover as opposition and rebel forces are for the most part bottled up in enclaves. Last week New York Times reporter Anthony Shadid died of an asthma attack while trying to reach an opposition zone.