Marie Colvin killed in Syria : Video of one of her last reports
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 13:56
Marie Colvin, a Sunday Times journalist, and a French photographer have been killed in the besieged Syrian city of Homs after the house where they were staying was shelled.
Colvin, an American reporter for the British newspaper, and photographer Remi Ochlik both died in the attack, the French government said.
Shells hit the house in which the two veteran war correspondents were staying, then they were killed by a rocket as they tried to make their escape, activists told Reuters.
Colvin, known for wearing a black eye patch after she lost an eye due to a shrapnel wound while working in Sri Lanka in 2001, was the only journalist from a British newspaper in Homs.
At least two other Western journalists - including the British photographer Paul Conroy who was on an assignment with Colvin - were reportedly wounded after more than 10 rockets hit the house.
Only yesterday, Colvin reported on shelling in the city in a video for the BBC, as well as CNN, in which she described the bloodshed as “absolutely sickening”.
“I watched a little baby die today,” the award-winning reporter said. “Absolutely horrific.
“There is just shells, rockets and tank fire pouring into civilian areas of this city and it is just unrelenting.”
In a report published in the Sunday Times over the weekend, Colvin spoke of the citizens of Homs "waiting for a massacre".
"The scale of human tragedy in the city is immense. The inhabitants are living in terror. Almost every family seems to have suffered the death or injury of a loved one," she wrote.
In 2010, Colvin spoke about the dangers of reporting on war zones at a Fleet Street ceremony honouring fallen journalists.
She said: "Craters. Burned houses. Mutilated bodies. Women weeping for children and husbands. Men for their wives, mothers, children
"Our mission is to report these horrors of war with accuracy and without prejudice.
"We always have to ask ourselves whether the level of risk is worth the story. What is bravery, and what is bravado?
"Journalists covering combat shoulder great responsibilities and face difficult choices. Sometimes they pay the ultimate price."
On Tuesday night Colvin, who is in her fifties, also appeared on Channel 4 and ITV news bulletins, reporting on the bombardment of the opposition stronghold.
Ochlik was born in France in 1983 and first covered conflict in Haiti at the age of 20. Most recently he photographed the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.
Earlier this month, he won first prize in the general news stories category of the World Press Photo contest for images taken during the Libyan conflict.
The two were killed when a shell crashed into a makeshift media centre set up by anti-regime activists in Baba Amr district, activist Omar Shaker told the AFP news agency.
He told Reuters that two other journalists were injured - Conroy, and a female American journalist, who he said was in a very serious condition.
"Up to this point we have two dead. They are still under the rubble because the shelling hasn't stopped. No one can get close to the house.
"There is another American female journalist who is in a really serious condition, she really needs urgent care."
Pro-opposition areas of Homs have been under a sustained bombardment from government forces since February 3, leaving several hundred people dead.
Colvin, who was married three times, won the British press award for Best Foreign Correspondent on two occasions, as well as awards from the International Women's Media Foundation.
The journalist from Oyster Bay, New York, specialised in the Arab and Persian world but also worked in Chechnya, Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Sri Lanka.
Prime Minister David Cameron paid tribute to Colvin, praising the sacrifice she made in the name of journalism.
Opening Prime Minister's Questions, he said: "This is a desperately sad reminder of the risks that journalists take to inform the world of what is happening and the dreadful events in Syria and our thoughts should be with her family and with her friends."
William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, said Colvin's death was "a great loss".