Two western journalists have been killed during the heavy bombardment of the city Homs of by security forces loyal to the regime of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad.
Marie Colvin, a reporter for Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper and Remi Ochlik, a French photographer, died in the shelling of the Baba Amr district of Homs.
Colvin and Ochlik were apparently in a house being used as a media center by activists when it fell under heavy attack. At least two other foreign journalists -- British freelance photographer Paul Conroy, who was working with Colvin, and Edith Bouvier of the French newspaper, Le Figaro -- were injured by the shelling.
John Witherow, the editor of the Sunday Times, said his paper will seek to recover Colvin’s body and bring Conroy out of Syria.
Marie was an extraordinary figure in the life of the Sunday Times, driven by a passion to cover wars in the belief that what she did mattered, he said in a statement.
She believed profoundly that reporting could curtail the excesses of brutal regimes and make the international community take notice.
British Prime Minister David Cameron told parliament in London: 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.
Alain Juppe, France’s foreign minister condemned the ongoing violence in Syria and vowed to investigate the deaths of the western journalists.
It's another demonstration of the degradation of the situation in Syria and of a repression that is more and more intolerable, he told reporters in Paris.
I hope that on Friday at the 'Friends of Syria' meeting in Tunis we will be able to move towards a peaceful solution of the situation.
Homs, a stronghold of the anti-Assad opposition, has been under siege since February 4.
On Tuesday prior to her death, Colvin had told BBC: There are 28,000 people in Baba Amr. The Syrians will not let them out and are shelling all the civilian areas. There is Free Syrian Army here. They're very, very lightly armed. People are terrified they will leave.
Although foreign reporters are generally barred from Syria, some have made their way into the country with the help of local activists.
According to reports, 25 other people died in Syria on Wednesday, following 40 deaths on Tuesday. At least 6,000 (perhaps many more) have died in the revolt against Assad that is now approaching the one-year mark.
Meanwhile, the Red Cross has asked Damascus for permission to enter the country to treat victims of the violence and also requested a ceasefire between government troops and the opposition rebels. It is unclear if their entreaties have been answered yet.