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French Journalists Edith Bouvier And William Daniels Return Home From Syria

Posted: 03/02/12 12:15 PM ET  |  Updated: 03/02/12 02:15 PM ET

VILLACOUBLAY, France (AP) — Two French journalists smuggled out of a war-torn Syrian city where they were trapped for nine days returned home Friday, one injured and carried from the plane on a stretcher, the other smiling broadly and punching his fist in the air.

A red ambulance whisked Edith Bouvier to a hospital after she lingered on the special French government aircraft for more than 30 minutes with loved ones and President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The French president greeted the 31-year-old Bouvier, a journalist for Le Figaro, and William Daniels, a photographer, at Villacoublay military airport, west of Paris. Only Bouvier's arm was visible, reaching out to hug dear ones as the stretcher reached the tarmac.

Daniels, in blue jeans, a jacket and wool cap, smiled and raised his right arm after leaving the plane. Neither spoke to journalists.

Sarkozy praised Bouvier's courage and the "almost chivalrous spirit of her partner in misfortune, William Daniels, who never abandoned Edith Bouvier even though he was unhurt and had other possibilities of getting out."

In brief remarks before the pair descended from the plane, Sarkozy criticized Syrian authorities.

"I want to say in the most solemn way that the Syrian authorities will have to answer to international legal authorities for their crimes. The crimes they committed will not go unpunished," he said before entering the aircraft himself to join loved one there talking with the returning journalists.

Both had been caught up in a Syrian government siege of a rebel-held neighborhood in the city of Homs.

Bouvier sustained several fractures to a leg during a rocket attack that killed two Western journalists — American reporter Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik — and wounded a British photographer, Paul Conroy.

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Filed by Rebecca Shapiro  |