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French reporters evacuated from Syria fly home

A government plane carrying two French journalists evacuated from the Syrian city of Homs left Lebanon on Friday for France where it was due to be met by President Nicolas Sarkozy, officials said.

world Updated: Mar 02, 2012 20:51 IST

A government plane carrying two French journalists evacuated from the Syrian city of Homs left Lebanon on Friday for France where it was due to be met by President Nicolas Sarkozy, officials said.

Freelance reporter Edith Bouvier, whose femur was shattered during heavy shelling of Homs's Baba Amro district, and photographer William Daniels were brought across the border into Lebanon by Syrian rebels on Thursday, ending several days of uncertainty over their fate.

Their plight had mesmerised France following the death of a French photographer Remi Ochlik last week during the bombardment of Homs, alongside American journalist Marie Colvin.

Sarkozy said on the sidelines of an EU leaders summit in Brussels that Bouvier and Daniels should land in France at the military airport of Villacoublay, near Paris, later on Friday.

A statement from the Elysee presidential palace said their flight was expected at around 6.00pm (1700 GMT) and Sarkozy would be there to meet them.

"Their morale was good, but they were of course tired after everything they have been through in the last days and hours," foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told a news conference on Friday.

French embassy officials, including a doctor, had met the group at the border on Thursday and found Bouvier's leg wound to be in a stable condition that meant she could fly home.

"She was very well taken care of by the Syrian doctors from the start, which meant her injury did not worsen," Valero said.