French cameraman killed in Syria; Assad appears at rally - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

French cameraman killed in Syria; Assad appears at rally

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BEIRUT (AP) -- A French TV cameraman has become the first Western journalist to be killed in the 10-month uprising in Syria.

Officials and a witness say the Frenchman (Gilles Jacquier) died in a barrage of grenades, while he was on a government-sponsored trip to the restive city of Homs.

The government is blaming what it calls "terrorists" for the attack, which it said also killed eight Syrians.

According to one person who was on the tour, about 15 journalists were in a group that was hit by several grenades.

The attack came just hours after President Bashar Assad made a surprise appearance at a rally in the capital. He joined thousands of supporters in a show of confidence in his government.

Assad told the crowd that his foes are "in the final stages of their conspiracy."

Meanwhile, there's additional scrutiny on the Arab League mission that was supposed to determine whether the Syrian government is abiding by an agreement to end the crackdown. A former monitor says he quit in disgust because the regime was committing "war crimes" against its own people. He says the observer mission "was a farce."

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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