The Two-Way
8:39 am
Wed January 11, 2012

8 Killed In Syria, Including A French Journalist

Eight people were killed in the city of Homs today. While the circumstances are not entirely clear, we do know that among the dead was Gilles Jacquier, a French journalist with France 2.

The AP reports that the television channel announced his death, saying he was in Syria on a government-authorized reporting trip. "News director Thierry Thullier of France Televisions, the parent station of France-2, told French TV BFM that Jacquier appeared to have been killed by a mortar or rocket as part of a series of attacks," the AP reports.

This appears to be the first time a Western journalist has been killed in Syria since the uprising began.

The Guardian's Ian Black was on his way back to Damascus from Homs but he filed this account of what happened:

"As we were leaving a march was beginning, a march in solidarity with the Syrian regime- the sort of thing that happens quite a lot particularly when foreign journalists and especially television cameras are there.

"There was a second group of journalists travelling separately from our group and who we've been told were filming the march as it was setting off when we think a vehicle in which they were travelling was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade."

Liz Sly, of The Washington Post, points out on Twitter that this incident is likely to be spun in two different ways by the government and the opposition. "Syria govt will say the killing of French journalist in Homs proves opposition armed and dangerous. Oppo. says govt did it to prove that," Sly tweeted.

The same kind of discussion happened when a bomb went off in Damascus, earlier this year. The government blamed the blast on opponents, calling them terrorists, and the activists said it was staged the government.

According to the website of the Bayeux-Calvados war correspondents' prize, Jacquier was a veteran conflict reporter, covering stories in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Israel and Haiti.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.