Mar 2 - France prepares to fly home two journalists evacuated from the beseiged Syrian city as rebels retreat from military onslaught. Paul Chapman reports.
A convoy thought to be carrying wounded French journalist Edith Bouvier arrives at a hospital in the Lebanese capital, Beirut. She and photographer William Daniels were evacuated from the besieged Syrian city of Homs and brought across the border by Syrian rebels. Bouvier, seen here in video from a social media website which couldn't be independently verified, suffered a fractured hip during the Syrian government bombardment of Homs. The news that the pair had escaped the city was confirmed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday. SOUNDBITE: French President Nicolas Sarkozy saying (French): "Having talked with Edith Bouvier and knowing precisely where she is I can confirm that it is now official. She and he are safe." The Red Cross says it has finally been given permission to enter the neighbourhood of Baba Amro where Bouvier was wounded and two other journalists killed during shelling. SOUNDBITE: ICRC Spokesman Hicham Hassan saying (English): "The security situation in Baba Amro remains very much unclear for both the ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent. What is, however, very sure is that the needs on a humanitarian level are extremely huge today." Video from a social media website dates February 29th purports to show Syrian government shelling in Homs. The footage could not be independently verified by Reuters. Latest reports say the rebels are abandoning their shattered stronghold after a 26-day army assault. Activists said Syrian troops had begun hunting down and killing rebels who had stayed to cover their comrades pulling out of the Baba Armo district. Paul Chapman, Reuters