American correspondent Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik are among many killed by Syrian forces

American correspondent Marie Colvin

American correspondent Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik were killed on today when rockets fired by government forces hit the house they were staying in, witnesses said. At least two other journalists were wounded in the attack, the Syrian Network for Human Rights said. Valerie Pecresse, a spokeswoman for the French government, confirmed the deaths to reporters in Paris. 

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One of the wounded was identified as British photographer Paul Conroy, the other as Edith Bouvier of France’s Le Figaro newspaper. She was said to be in serious condition.

Colvin and Ochlik were both prize-winning journalists who covered wars in the Middle East, Asia and elsewhere. U.S.-born Marie Colvin, a veteran foreign correspondent from Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper, has also reported for CNN, the BBC and other media outlets

Among Colvin’s awards was a Martha Gelhorn Prize in 2009 for distinguished work over many years.

Ochlik covered conflicts since the age of 20. Most recently he photographed the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

He won first prize for general news in this year’s World Press Photo awards for a photo of a rebel fighter in Libya and ran his own agency, IP3 Press.

In Paris, Reporters Without Borders said Bouvier works as a freelancer for Le Figaro newspaper.

The latest barrage came a day after security forces killed at least 68 people across Syria, adding to an overall death toll of 7,636 since March when anti-regime protests broke out, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy said the deaths of the journalists showed that “this regime must go.”

Activist Omar Shaker from inside Baba Amr said that two journalists were killed and three others wounded as a shell crashed into a makeshift media centre set up by anti-regime militants.

French television reporter Gilles Jacquier was killed in Homs last month as a shell exploded amid a group of journalists covering protests in the city on a visit organised by the Syrian authorities.

A Syrian citizen journalist, Rami al-Sayyed, who provided live footage on the Internet from Baba Amr, was killed late Tuesday when a rocket hit a car in which he was travelling, activist Hadi Abdullah said.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the shelling in the Syrian city of Homs which killed American journalist Marie Colvin and French photojournalist Remi Ochlik.

“This is a terrible loss for the journalists’ families, their colleagues and the entire journalists’ community,” said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President. “The killing of these journalists, including Colvin who was a highly respected war reporter, shows the indiscriminate attacks make it unsafe for journalists to report from the city, at a time when the world desperately needs information on the Syrian crisis.”

British foreign minister William Hague called the killings a terrible reminder of the suffering of the Syrian people, and said governments around the world have a responsibility to end President Bashar al-Assad’s “despicable campaign of terror in Syria.”

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