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Spanish journalist escapes from Homs

Spanish reporter Javier Espinosa, one of several Westerners who were trapped in the besieged city of Homs, has crossed safely into Lebanon from Syria, executives from his newspaper said Wednesday.

Baba abr homs 2012 02 29Enlarge
The Baba Amr district of Homs has been under constant shelling for 25 days. (-/AFP/Getty Images)

Spanish journalist Javier Espinosa, one of several Westerners who were trapped in the besieged city of Homs, has crossed safely into Lebanon from Syria.

Espinosa, a reporter for Spain’s El Mundo newspaper, survived the bombardment on a makeshift media center in the Baba Amr district of Homs that took the lives of American journalist Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik a week ago.

On Wednesday evening the newspaper wrote on its website that Espinosa had “left Syria and was in Lebanon in perfect health,” according to the Agence France Presse.

While details of Espinosa’s escape remain unclear, it appears that the reporter was smuggled out of the country this afternoon after managing to make the dangerous journey out of Homs unharmed, according to The Guardian.

Espinosa’s escape comes a day after British photographer Paul Conroy, who was working in Homs with Colvin and was injured in the shelling round that killed her and Ochlik, was smuggled into Lebanon by activists, some of whom were killed in the operation.

Two French journalists, Edith Bouvier, a freelance correspondent, and William Daniels, a photographer, were both believed to remain trapped in the city on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

France has called on the Syrian government to instigate a ceasefire in Baba Amr – which has been under constant shelling for 25 days – to enable the journalists to be safely evacuated. Bouvier’s femur has been shattered in the shelling.

Syrian ground troops reportedly pushed into Homs on Wednesday, in a long-anticipated ground assault targeting Baba Amr.

On Tuesday the United Nations updated its death count for the conflict for the first time since January, estimating that more than 7,500 people have been killed over the last year since a popular uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began.  

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/120229/spanish-journalist-escapes-homs