French reporter Edith Bouvier asks for Syria evacuation


The French journalist who was wounded in an attack on the Syrian city of Homs on Wednesday has asked to be evacuated from Syria quickly.

Edith Bouvier was injured in the attack that killed journalists Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik in the Baba Amr suburb.

In a video posted onlineby opposition activists, Ms Bouvier says she has a broken femur and needs an operation.

The UN and Arab League are continuing efforts to resolve the crisis, and have appointed Kofi Annan as their envoy.

Mr Annan, a former UN secretary general, has in recent years acted as a diplomatic troubleshooter in several long-running conflicts.

The UN said in a statement he would "provide good offices aimed at bringing an end to all violence and human rights violations, and promoting a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis".

'Absolutely OK'

Ms Bouvier says she needs a ceasefire and a medically equipped vehicle to take her to the Lebanese border.

In a separate video, British photographer Paul Conroy, who was also injured in the attack, says he is being looked after by the medical staff of the Free Syrian Army.

He stresses that he is with them as a guest and that despite three large wounds to his leg he is "absolutely OK".

There is growing pressure on Damascus to give access to civilians trapped by the onslaught on Homs, which has lasted for more than two weeks.

Syrian opposition groups say that between 50 and 60 people were killed in violence across the country on Thursday.

In her video, Ms Bouvier praises the doctors treating her and says they are doing what they can, but that they do not have surgical facilities.

image captionWilliam Daniels says he was fortunate not to be injured

She says her thigh-bone is broken both longitudinally and horizontally.

Photojournalist William Daniels, who is also French, appears alongside her and says she has not lost her smile.

He was also caught up in the attack but says he was not injured.

Mr Daniels appeals to the French authorities to help them as soon as possible, as conditions "are very difficult".

There is no electricity and not much to eat, he says, adding that they need to get out as quickly as possible using medically equipped transportation.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has described the killing of the two journalists as "murder", according to AFP.

"Those who did this will have to account for it," Mr Sarkozy said, alleging that the journalists were specifically targeted.

Marie Colvin's editor at the Sunday Times, John Witherow, and Syrian opposition activists had earlier speculated that the Syrian army may have used technology to pinpoint the journalists' location.

Tunis conference

The US, Europe and Arab countries plan to challenge President Bashar al-Assad to provide humanitarian access within days to the worst affected areas.

They plan to present their ultimatum at Friday's international conference on Syria in Tunisia.

Russia and China have said they will not attend the conference.

The two countries have faced Western and Arab criticism for blocking a UN Security Council resolution that would have backed an Arab League peace plan for Syria.

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has telephoned his Chinese counterpart and "reaffirmed" their "joint position".

The UK Prime Minister David Cameron said it was vital that the international community came together on the issue of Syria.

The French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, speaking in London before leaving for Tunis, said the conference needed to exert the maximum pressure on the Syrian government and also on Russia.

He said there was no military option on the table and France could not envisage such an option without an international mandate.

Meanwhile, a United Nations panel has drawn up a confidential list of Syrian military officials - believed to include President Assad - who could face investigation for crimes against humanity.

It says these include shooting unarmed women and children, shelling civilian areas and torturing the wounded.