French journalist killed in Syria

A French journalist was killed in Syria yesterday while covering pro-government demonstrations in the city of Homs.

Gilles Jacquier, a 43 year-old cameraman for France 2, was among a group of 15 foreign journalists on a trip authorised by President Assad when he was reportedly killed by a rocket grenade attack.

He is the first Western reporter to die in Syria since the uprising began in March last year.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Belgian reporter Jens Franssen said:

It was chaos. We ran. There were three of four grenades. 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.

According to Associated Press, up to six Syrian civilians were also killed although the figure could not be verified.

Dutch officials confirmed that reporter Steven Wassenaar, another journalist in the group, was injured in the attack in the pro-Assad Hadara region.

Over 5,000 people, including several Syrian journalists, are estimated to have died since the uprising began according to the UN.

Jacquier was an award-winning reporter who had covered unrest in Tunisia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo and reported on the Israeli-Palestine conflict.


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