Raymond Saint-Pierre, Radio-Canada correspondent, injured in Syria bombardment
Radio-Canada correspondent Raymond Saint-Pierre was slightly injured in Syria Tuesday morning when the group of journalists he was travelling with came under bombardment near the Turkish border.
In an interview with Radio-Canada, Saint-Pierre said he suffered what he described as "superficial injuries" to his hand, knee and elbow as well as a few cracked ribs as he hit the ground to escape shells exploding nearby.
The bombardment came from an unknown source, he said.
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Saint-Pierre told CBC News that the bombardment might have come from Turkish forces or al-Qaeda-affiliated fighters that are active in the area.
He was with a group of between 30 to 40 journalists under the escort of Russian troops when the attack occurred near the Syrian village of Latakia.
The group had been flown from Moscow to Syria for a tour organized by Russia's defence ministry.
Saint-Pierre said the group of journalists was "quite visible" and could not have been mistaken.
"We were about 30 journalists all dressed in flak jackets and helmets taking pictures all over the place... Someone saw us, that's obvious," he said.
The attack happened suddenly, he said.
"Syrian soldiers were explaining the proximity of Turkish troops when suddenly, as we were preparing to leave, we were targeted by a bombardment," Saint-Pierre told Radio-Canada.
"There were at least eight to 10 explosions all around us," he said.
"We hid behind a tank until we could reach the armoured personnel carriers. Everyone was running and I lightly injured my knee and elbow."
Saint-Pierre said four civilians were also wounded in the attack.
A ceasefire brokered by Russia and the United States is supposed to be in effect in Syria.
"That's why we were brought there," Saint-Pierre said. "We didn't think there would be a problem in that area."
"The journalists were all very happy that nobody was hurt very bad," he said.
"The explosions were all really near, like about 10 or 20 metres from us at the time. It was a near miss, let me tell you."
Saint-Pierre said he will remain on the tour, which was scheduled to last four days.