I want to report with great shock the sad news of the death of Marie Colvin in Syria today. We have reliable reports that Marie was killed in Homs while covering the devastating bombardment by the Syrian army. She was with Paul Conroy, the freelance photographer, who was injured in the attack. We do not know the extent of his wounds but the early reports suggest he is not too seriously hurt. We are doing what we can to get him to safety and to recover Marie's body
Marie was an extraordinary figure in the life of The Sunday Times, driven by a passion to cover wars in the belief that what she did mattered. She believed profoundly that reporting could curtail the excesses of brutal regimes and make the international community take notice. Above all, as we saw in her powerful report last weekend, her thoughts were with the victims of violence.
Throughout her long career she took risks to fulfil this goal, including being badly injured in Sri Lanka. Nothing seemed to deter her. But she was much more than a war reporter. She was a woman with a tremendous joie de vivre, full of humour and mischief and surrounded by a large circle of friends, all of whom feared the consequences of her bravery.
Marie was recruited to The Sunday Times more than a quarter of a century ago by David Blundy, her predecessor as Middle East correspondent, who was himself killed in El Salvador in 1989. It shows the risks that foreign correspondents are prepared to take in the pursuit of the truth.
Marie will be missed sorely by all of us and her many friends.