Wounded French journalist Edith Bouvier and colleague William Daniels reach safety in Lebanon

French journalists Edith Bouvier and William Daniels have managed to get out of Syria and are now safely in Lebanon, confirms President Sarkozy.

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The journalists Edith Bouvier and William Daniels have managed to get out of Syria and are now safely in Lebanon, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said, reports Sky News.

 

 

The pair, who were both working for French newspaper Le Figaro, could be flown back to France within hours if doctors give the go-ahead.

 

Ms Bouvier suffered serious leg injuries in the same blast that killed Sunday Times reporter Marie Colvin and the French photographer Remi Ochlik on February 22.

 

The journalists were in a building housing a rebel press centre in the district of Baba Amr when it was shelled.

 

British photographer Paul Conroy was also wounded in the attack. He was smuggled out to Lebanon earlier this week. Mr Daniels was not injured.

 

Mr Sarkozy, speaking at the EU summit in Brussels, said the pair were not currently in Beirut and could be brought back to France "tonight in a hospital plane".

 

"Edith Bouvier and William Daniels are currently safe on Lebanese territory and will within moments be under the protection of our embassy in Beirut," he said.

 

"I have just spoken with Edith Bouvier, who is naturally exhausted, having suffered hugely but she knows she is free and that she will soon be taken care of.

"I want to thank all those who contributed to this happy ending after a week of efforts to evacuate them involving the International Red Cross and the Syrian Red Cross, which didn't succeed."

The president added that "the medical urgency took precedence and Edith Bouvier and her companion were to leave their surroundings using all available means".

Mr Sarkozy refused to give any details about the extraction because he said there are still other journalists still trying to get to safety.

"It was done by efficient people," he said, adding that snow in Lebanon had slowed their way to Beirut.

In a statement, foreign minister Alain Juppe expressed his "immense joy" at the pair's escape.

"They were taken in by the French Embassy in Beirut and everything is being done to ensure their medical care and their repatriation as soon as possible," he said.

Earlier, Syrian rebels made what they called a "tactical retreat" from Baba Amr, saying they were running low on weapons and the humanitarian conditions were unbearable.

Within hours of the withdrawal, President Bashar al Assad's regime granted permission for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to enter the neighborhood.

Read more of this report from Sky News.

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