Syria: French journalist killed in Homs

“A few minutes before the accident, there was a pro-Assad demonstration
with a few youths. We asked them a few questions. Around 100 metres further
on, there was a first grenade explosion,” he said.

He ran for cover in a nearby building. “People were screaming. There was
blood on the floor A few minutes later we came back down. In the stairwell,
I saw a French colleague from France 2 lifeless on the floor,” said Mr

An AFP photographer also present said pro-Assad demonstrators died in the
attack. He accompanied Mr Jacquier in an ambulance. “At the hospital it
was, chaos and total hysteria. Every five minutes a new wounded person
arrived.” President Nicolas Sarkozy of France expressed his “pain
and emotion” at the news, adding that he expected Syrian authorities to “get
to the bottom of the death of a man who was simply doing his job of
informing the public”.

“Journalists like Gilles Jacquier do honour to their profession,” he

Alain Juppé, the French foreign minister, said Mr Jacquier had been killed “in
an attack” in Homs.

“It’s up to Syrian authorities to ensure the security of international
journalists on their territory, and to protect this fundamental liberty
which is the freedom of information,” he said in a statement.

Mr Jacquier was a seasoned war cameraman, having reported over the years from
Afghanistan, Gaza, Congo, Iraq and Yemen – most recently for the
investigative program Special Envoy.

United States expressed dismay.

“Far from meeting his commitments to the Arab League, President Assad has
continued to perpetrate violence against his own people and has not provided
an environment hospitable to journalists, hospitable to peaceful protest,”
said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

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