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24 June, 2024
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French journalist killed in Ukraine

Paris calls for transparent inquiry into circumstances as reports on details remained unclear


Paris has called for a full and transparent investigation into the death of a French journalist in Ukraine, after reports surrounding an attack on his convoy remained unclear.

Media reports said French journalist Frederic Leclerc-Imhoff was on his way to film an evacuation near the city of Sievierodonetsk on Monday when a vehicle transporting him came under attack.

BMFTV said their colleague, who was on his way to film a civilian evacuation near the city of Sievierodonetsk, was in an armored vehicle and was killed when a shell exploded

According to Ukrainian officials, the 32-year-old journalist was inside an armored vehicle that was shelled by Russian forces, with sharpnel striking and fatally wounding Leclerc-Imhoff.

But a tweet from French President Emannuel Macron on Monday suggested the BMFTV correspondent had been hit while he was on a bus that came under fire.

BMFTV reported that their correspondent, who was on his second trip to the zone of combat actions, was in an armored vehicle and was killed when a shell exploded. 

Leclerc-Imhoff was accompanied by his colleague Maxime Brandstaetter, who was said to have been wounded in the incident, as well as local coordinator Oksana Leuta who did not sustain any injuries according to BFMTV. 

An unverified photo on social media showed what appeared to be a dead body on the ground next to a bus marked with the words "humanitarian aid" and a sticker of the Ukrainian flag.

Reports were unclear whether unarmed civilians were on board the bus but an official statement by the western organization National Press Club suggested war-fleeing individuals were inside.

"According to reports, Fredric was killed when he was struck in the neck by shrapnel from a Russian artillery round. At the time he was riding in an armored vehicle following a bus carrying refugees from the Severodonetsk region," NPC said.

Other reports said Leclerc-Imhoff was on his way to film civilians who needed to be evacuated. 

Russian officials did not immediately comment on the incident.

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, who was in Ukraine when the incident took place, said her country demanded a "transparent inquiry" into the circumstances of Leclerc-Imhoff's death.

Colonna met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev on Monday to express France's solidarity with Ukraine and offer more support for the country.

Cyprus  |  Ukraine  |  France  |  Russia  |  war  |  journalism  |  reporter  |  Frederic Leclerc-Imhoff

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