© Lucas Dolega
Freelance photographer Remi Ochlik was killed today in the besieged city of Homs, Syria, according to several news organizations. Reporter Marie Colvin of the Sunday Times of London was killed in the same attack. An aid worker told Reuters the journalists were at a make-shift media center set up by rebels fighting the Syrian army when it was struck by shells. Ochlik and Colvin were trying to flee the building when they were hit by a rocket. The same aid worker also told Reuters two other journalists, including British photographer Peter Conroy, were injured in the attack. Syrian videographer/activist Rami al-Sayed also died of wounds sustained during earlier shelling of the same area.
This month, Ochlik, who was represented by the IP3 agency, won first place in the General News/Stories category of the World Press Photo Awards for his work on the civil war in Libya. Born in France in 1983, Ochlik also covered conflict in Haiti, Tunisia, Egypt and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Parts of Homs have been under heavy bombardment by the Syrian army since February 3. The International Red Cross and the Red Crescent have asked the regime of President Bashar al-Assad for daily ceasefires in order to bring medical care to the wounded. Because Syria tightly restricts access by foreign press, most foreign journalists have had to enter the country illegally, or are reporting from Beirut or Amman where they relay accounts of eyewitnesses on the ground. French TV journalist Gilles Jacquier was killed in Homs last month during a government-organized tour of the city. Mazhar Tayyara, a Syrian stringer for AFP was killed by shelling in Homs on February 4. Last week New York Times correspondent Anthony Shadid died, apparently of an asthma attack, while he and photographer Tyler Hicks were trying to return to the Turkish border.