| 25.02,12. 09:13 AM |
Red Cross begins evacuation of wounded from Homs
Red Cross and Red Crescent ambulances entered the besieged Homs district of Baba Amr on Friday and evacuated seven Syrians wounded in bombardment by regime forces, the ICRC said.
But the ambulances have not yet evacuated two wounded Western journalists and the bodies of two others, a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross told AFP in Damascus.
"Three ambulances entered Baba Amr and they have left. They evacuated so far seven wounded Syrian citizens," Saleh Dabbakeh said.
"Negotiations continue with the Syrian authorities and the opposition in attempt to evacuate all persons, without exception, who are in need of urgent help," he added.
Earlier Dabbakeh said that the ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent were "on the spot in Baba Amr, attempting to evacuate as soon as possible everyone in need of urgent help."
He said the four Western journalists -- two wounded and the corpses of two killed in Homs, were included in the operation, and at least 11 ambulances and other vehicles are in Baba Amr.
Dabbakeh had told AFP that relief teams would be aiming to help everyone in need, not just the foreign reporters, once they entered the Baba Amr district, which has been under siege and bombardment since February 4.
"If we go to Homs, it will not be only to evacuate the journalists but also for the people of Homs that need assistance and medical evacuation," he said.
US journalist Marie Colvin and French photojournalist Remi Ochlik were killed on Wednesday when a rocket hit a makeshift media centre in Baba Amr, a rebel stronghold.
French reporter Edith Bouvier and British photographer Paul Conroy both suffered leg wounds in the same rocket attack.
More than 7,600 people have been killed since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's regime began last March, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.