Syria says it has no records of two slain foreign journalists in Homs

Syria says it has no records of two slain foreign journalists in Homs
# 22 February 2012 17:43 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. Syria’s minister of information said Wednesday that it had no knowledge of the records of the two Western journalists, who were reportedly killed earlier in the day in the central restive Homs city, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

"We had no idea about the existence of those journalists or when did they enter Syria," Adnan Mahmoud was quoted by the private al-Ekhbaria TV as saying.

"We have asked the authorities in Homs to search for the whereabouts of those journalists and find out what had happened to them," he added.

The minister meanwhile appealed on all foreign journalists who have entered Syria illegally to head to the ministry to register themselves.

Around Wednesday noon, a source from the Information Ministry told Xinhua that the two journalists reportedly killed in Homs " went there independently."

The source, on condition of anonymity, said that the two journalists did not have any coordination with the Information Ministry before setting for the restive region in Homs.

In Paris, local broadcaster France Info said that one French photo journalist and an American journalist were killed Wednesday morning when a bomb hit a media center in Homs.

The dead are French photographer Ochlik Remi, who was working for the magazine Paris-Match, and American journalist Marie Colvin, who was a special correspondent for the Sunday Times, the French report said.

The news was also confirmed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy ’s spokeswoman Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet.

Remi is the second French journalist that died in Syria. In January, French television reporter Gilles Jacquier was killed and became the first Western journalist to die in Syria since the anti- government protests erupted 11 months ago.

Last Thursday, Anthony Shadid, New York Times correspondent and two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign correspondent, died at 43 of an asthma attack while on a reporting assignment in Syria.

Shadid sneaked into Syria from Turkey and spent a week reporting from the restive northern province of Idlib, but on his way out he had suffered a deadly asthma attack and died.

The provinces of Homs and Idlib have been the main hotbeds of armed insurgency against the rule of Syrian President Bashar al- Assad. Earlier in the day, local Al-Watan newspaper said that a number of terrorists were arrested and some others turned themselves over to authorities in Idlib.