French TV journalist killed in Homs

Gilles Jacquier, who has been killed in an attack in the Syrian city, was an award-winning reporter

Gilles Jacquier, 43, who has been killed in Syria, was a highly respected special correspondent for France's acclaimed flagship documentary programme, Envoyé Spécial, on the state TV channel France 2.

He was a reporter who also shot his own footage and had spent two decades covering numerous conflicts, from Algeria in the 1990s to Iraq, Afghanistan, Congo, the Balkans and the Arab spring.

He received the French Pulitzer prize equivalent, the Prix Albert Londres, in 2003 for his work on the second intifada. He took a bullet wound to his side during the 2003 intifada when a shot came through his bullet-proof vest. He had also won an award for work in Afghanistan.

Bertrand Coq, who won the Prix Albert Londres with him, told Agence France-Presse: "He was an excellent war reporter. He was fearless. He was the kind of person who stuck his neck out but he never took unnecessary risks … He was a sportsman, a former ski champion. He poured all that sportsmanslike skill and motivation into his work. He never came back without the images, never."

Thierry Thuillier, head of information for France Télévisions told BFMTV that Jacquier was "one of the best" in his newsroom, adding that he had entered Syria on a visa in order to do a piece for Envoyé Spécial.

"I hate war but in war zones I can meet real people," Jacquier once said in an interview. "Most of the time people are really themselves, very sincere in front of a camera and it's impossible not be moved by their suffering."

He added: "Above all, I like filming people as close as possible to the action, with their emotions, but without voyeurism."

He said he had seen death "on a large scale" during his career, including mass graves and "dozens of corpses arriving on stretchers and thrown in".


Angelique Chrisafis in Paris

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