A destroyed car outside a mosque in the Syrian city of Homs
An image taken from a video uploaded on YouTube shows a destroyed car in the Khalidiya district of the Syrian city of Homs. This image cannot be independently verified. The International Committee of the Red Cross has resumed negotiations with the Syrian authorities and opposition groups on evacuating the wounded from Homs's besieged Baba Amr district, a day after talks collapsed. © - AFP/YouTube
A destroyed car outside a mosque in the Syrian city of Homs
AFP
Last updated: February 26, 2012

Talks resume on evacuating wounded in Syria's Homs

The International Committee of the Red Cross resumed negotiations on Sunday with the Syrian authorities and opposition groups on evacuating the wounded from Homs's besieged Baba Amr district, a day after talks collapsed, the ICRC said.

"The negotiations that were suspended on Saturday evening resumed this morning with strong determination to see them succeed," said a Western diplomat in Damascus.

Nearly 12 hours of talks on Saturday aimed at evacuating those urgently in need of treatment from Baba Amr, including two Western journalists, as well as the bodies of two others killed on Wednesday, were unsuccessful.

"The discussion has yielded no concrete result today. Unfortunately, therefore, no emergency evacuation will take place today," ICRC spokesman Saleh Dabbakeh told AFP on Saturday.

A Western diplomat in Damascus said the talks foundered because of "deep mistrust between the two sides" -- the Syrian authorities and the opposition.

"This is making the negotiations very arduous," said the diplomat.

A Western journalist involved in Saturday's negotiations said ambulances twice entered Baba Amr, the district in the flashpoint central city that has been pounded by Syrian troops for more than three weeks.

But each time they were blocked by members of the rebel Free Syrian Army.

The female journalist, requesting anonymity, said the FSA refused to allow the evacuations, alleging that the regime had arrested nine people who were evacuated on Friday, claims the ICRC investigated and said afterwards "were totally false."

Dabbakeh confirmed on Friday that the Red Cross and the Red Crescent had evacuated seven Syrians wounded in shelling, as well as 20 sick women and children, from Baba Amr. They were taken to Homs' Al-Amine hospital.

But they were unable to evacuate two wounded Western journalists and the bodies of two of their colleagues killed on Wednesday in a rocket attack.

American reporter Marie Colvin and French photojournalist Remi Ochlik died when a rocket hit a makeshift media centre in Baba Amr.

French reporter Edith Bouvier and British photographer Paul Conroy suffered leg wounds.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Stay Connected
twitter icon Twitter 13,558 linkedin icon LinkedIn 463
facebook icon Facebook 87,173 google+ icon Google+ 272