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Middle east

Journalists still trapped as Red Crescent enters Homs

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-02-27

Aid teams from the Syrian Red Crescent entered the besieged Homs suburb of Baba Amr on Monday according to the Red Cross. Ambulances evacuated three wounded Syrians but foreign journalists trapped in the city were not among the rescued.

AFP - Efforts to evacuate foreign journalists from the rebel-held Baba Amr district of the flashpoint city of Homs failed on Monday, a Western diplomatic source in the Syrian capital said.

"The evacuation of journalists did not take place but three wounded Syrians were able to leave in Syrian Red Crescent ambulances," the source said.

A negotiator in the evacuation efforts said they fell through "at the last minute after ambulances had entered Baba Amr" but declined to specify if regime forces or rebels had blocked the operation.

An International Committee of the Red Cross spokesman in Geneva, meanwhile, said the ICRC and the Syrian Red Crescent were both operating in Homs.

Syrian activists claim scores killed on Monday

A Syrian activist group says 124 people have been killed across the country, including 64 who died while fleeing an embattled area in the central city of Homs.
The deaths were reported Monday by the Local Coordination Committees, one of the main Syrian activist groups.
The group says 64 of those killed Monday were fleeing the area of Baba Amr, a rebel-held neighborhood in Homs. Syrian government forces have been shelling the area for weeks.
The death tolls could not be independently verified. (AP)

"The Syrian Red Crescent volunteers entered Baba Amr to carry out the evacuation of persons who needed it and to deliver medical assistance," the spokesman said.

The diplomat in Damascus, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP earlier that talks and preparations were taking place to rescue two wounded Western reporters trapped in the besieged Baba Amr district.

"It is extremely delicate and the process could be blocked at any moment," the diplomat said.

The ICRC has been negotiating to rescue the wounded Western journalists from Homs -- under assault by regime forces for more than three weeks -- and retrieve the bodies of two others killed there last week.

British photographer Paul Conroy and French reporter Edith Bouvier were wounded in the attack on Wednesday which claimed the lives of American war correspondent Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik.

Edith Bouvier talks from Homs (mixture of French, Arabic and English)

Date created : 2012-02-27


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