Italian journalist survives Syria attack, cop killed

Agence France-Presse
An Italian journalist with ANSA news agency survives a bomb attack in Syria

ROME, Italy – An Italian journalist with ANSA news agency survived a bomb attack on his convoy in Syria on Wednesday, June 20, which killed a policeman and wounded three other people, the Italian foreign ministry said.

“Two home-made bombs exploded today as three cars were escorting the ANSA journalist Claudio Accogli to Daraa, 100 kilometres south of Damascus. One policeman was killed and three people were wounded,” it said.

While the bombs ripped through the first car in the convoy, the other cars suffered minimal damage and Accogli was unharmed, it said.

Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi expressed solidarity over “the vile attack — even more serious because carried out on someone who was courageously working to report the facts and the tragedy of the Syrian people,” the statement said.

The ministry commented that “in this situation the UN observers’ abilities to carry out their mandate is pretty much reduced to a minimum.”

Forty-six people were killed in violence in Syria on Wednesday, according to a rights group. UN observers have said they are “morally obliged” to stay in the country despite the risks, though they have suspended operations.

The death toll has exceeded 14,400 since the uprising against Assad’s rule erupted in March 2011, according to Observatory figures.

Western pleas for Russia to help remove President Bashar al-Assad from power have been resisted, despite the escalating hostilities. – Agence France-Presse