Journalist died trying to get shoes to flee

2012-02-26 22:32

London - American war correspondent Marie Colvin was killed while trying to retrieve her shoes so she could flee an army bombardment in the Syrian city of Homs, her employer, The Sunday Times, said.

Colvin and a group of other journalists had all followed the local custom of removing their footwear before entering a building in the besieged city which was being used as a rebel press centre, it said.

The journalists were on the ground floor of the building when the upper floors were hit by rockets, the paper said in the first full account of how the attack happened.

Although they were initially unhurt Colvin ran to the hall to get her shoes back from where she had left them.

But as she reached it a rocket landed at the front of the building, burying her and French photographer Remi Ochlik in debris and killing them both, the paper said.

Colvin's mother Rosemarie told CNN on Saturday that her daughter would likely be buried in Syria, saying it had been too risky for aid workers attempting to retrieve her remains.

"We were told yesterday [Saturday] that today [Sunday] was probably the last day" for recovering the body, she told the network.

The Red Cross said on Saturday it had failed to agree a deal to evacuate the journalists and wounded Syrians from Homs, as President Bashar al-Assad's forces resumed shelling the Baba Amr district of the city.

British photographer Paul Conroy, who was working with Colvin at the time, and French reporter Edith Bouvier were wounded in the attack.

Conroy's wife on Sunday urged Britain's foreign office to reconsider its decision not to send anyone to rescue her husband after it deemed the mission too dangerous.

"I would like it if somebody in that embassy was to say 'forget the protocol, I'm going and I'm going to get them out' - but I know that is not going to happen," Kate Conroy told BBC Radio 4.

"I have had quite a heated conversation with an MP and he has been absolutely categoric with me that that's not going to happen."

Britain summoned Syria's ambassador to London on Wednesday to demand that Syrian authorities facilitate "immediate arrangements for the repatriation of the journalists' bodies", as well as medical treatment for Conroy.

  • Fredster - 2012-02-27 07:07

    Sad news, but I guess it comes with the territory. RIP

  • winston.mullany - 2012-02-27 07:44

    I'm not condemning it but if it was my life the last thing on my mind would be fetching my shoes, I would be getting the hell out of there. Unfortunately its their line of work, RIP.

  • Merven - 2012-02-27 08:06

    So not wearing shoes can kill you.

  • Jaba - 2012-02-27 08:08

    More blood on the hands of the Syrian regime. Blood sponsored by Russia & Iran who are supplying arms & men respectively to fight on behalf of the crumbling regime. May Assad end up like his old best friend Qaadafi.

      Fred - 2012-02-27 16:24

      Agreed, except for your last sentence. We need less ugly violence in our world, not more.

  • Kevin - 2012-02-27 08:09

    Where is the UN ? Assad is a common thug and must be removed/killed.

      Deon - 2012-02-27 09:39

      The UN can not do anything as China and Russia vetoed them.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-02-27 11:41

      Kevin, you ask that question when sitting in front of the Internet?? Google is your friend.

  • Hugh - 2012-02-27 08:55

    Do not worry the US and Israel have a finger in this pie. The question I thiunki should be asked is why the barab league has not done something concrete about the trouble. Why should the West always have to interfer and then take the blame when the wheels fall off.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-02-27 11:43

      At least the West act on these savage deeds by despot tyrants.. The AU and Arab League look at ways it can benefit them first. In the case of the AU Africa is divided between French speaking Africans and "English" speaking Africans... they just don't see eye to eye..

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