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France is calling for an investigation into the death of a French journalist who was killed while reporting in war-torn Ukraine.
“France demands that a probe be carried out as soon as possible and in transparency on the circumstances of this drama,” Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said in a statement.
Colonna, who was in Ukraine Monday, said she had spoken with the Governor of Luhansky and asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for an investigation.
BFM TV reporter Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, 32, was fatally hit by shell shrapnel while covering a Ukrainian evacuation operation, according to the French news broadcaster he worked for.
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BFM TV said Leclerc-Imhoff was killed as he was “covering a humanitarian operation in an armored vehicle” near Sievierodonetsk, a key city in the Donbas region that is being hotly contested by Russian and Ukrainian forces. He had worked for six years for the French television channel.
The governor of Ukraine’s Luhansk region, Serhiy Haidai, said the evacuation effort was suspended after the strike.
According Zelenskyy, Leclerc-Imhoff was the 32nd media person killed since the start of Russia’s invasion on February 24.
In his nightly video address, Zelenskyy offered his “sincere apologies to Frédéric’s colleagues and family.”
French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that Leclerc-Imhoff was in Ukraine to “show the reality of war.”
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“I share the pain of the family, relatives and colleagues of Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, to whom I send my condolences,” Macron said. “To those who carry out this difficult mission of informing in theaters of operations, I would like to reiterate France’s unconditional support.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.