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Paul Conroy, UK Journalist Wounded In Syria, Suffers 'Burden' After 13 Killed To Save His Life

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The British photographer wounded the attack which killed Sunday Times reporter Marie Colvin is suffering with the "burden" of knowing people died to get him to safety, it has been reported.

Paul Conroy, 47, was injured last week in the attack which killed Sunday Times war correspondent Marie Colvin and French photojournalist Remi Ochlik.

The freelance photographer and film-maker from Devon, who suffered three large leg wounds in the attack on 22 February, was smuggled from the country in an operation led by the activist network Avaaz and 35 defectors from the Syrian army in which at least 13 people died.

He was recovering in Lebanon last night, where he spoke to his wife Kate and two sons said the Western Morning News, and was said to be in "good spirits".

But Conroy's wife added: "It is great to be communicating, but he is obviously very concerned for all the people who lost their lives in helping them out.

"It's a real burden on him to know that so many people died."

Avaaz said that three people were killed helping journalists through Homs, and ten died bringing supplies into the city. They added that 7,000 people had to flee their homes in Homs yesterday out of fear of yet another massacre.

Ricken Patel, executive director of Avaaz, said:

"Paul Conroy's rescue today is a huge relief but this must be tempered with the news that three remain unaccounted for and with our respects for the incredibly courageous activists who died during the evacuation attempts.

"The rescue is ongoing and we are deeply disappointed that sections of the media broke this story before all the journalists are safe.

"The world must now listen carefully to the human horror stories that Paul will tell and act to end this bloodbath and deliver the urgent relief and protection to the people of Syria."

It was unclear whether French reporter Edith Bouvier, of the Le Figaro newspaper, who suffered multiple leg fractures in the incident, had also been evacuated.

French president Nicolas Sarkozy had to to retract an assurance that she was safe, her employer reported.

The newspaper quoted him saying: "The information we are receiving is extremely complex to analyse. It is not confirmed that Mrs Bouvier is today in safety in Lebanon.

"It is true that we are working on this evacuation...Earlier I was imprecise and I apologise."

Meanwhile a new United Nations resolution was in the planning stages after China signalled it would support creating the conditions to aid to reach civilians hit by the violence.

"The international community should create favourable conditions in this regard and provide humanitarian aid to Syria," the Xinhua quoted Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi as saying.

The new resolution is expected to focus on gaining access for humanitarian organisations to the worst-affected cities, while still recognising the government is the cause of the violence.

The hope is that it will prove harder to reject for Russia and China, who have previously vetoed condemnations of Syria's ruling regime in the Security Council.

Last week US Secretary of State labelled their use of the veto "despicable".

The Reuters news agency was told by a diplomat: "There is a text, though it's not a formal draft resolution yet. It's been drafted by the Americans. It hasn't gone to the full council, just to a small circle of like-minded countries."

At a meeting of the Security Council yesterday the organisation said at least 7,500 people had died in Syria since the start of the uprising in March 2011.

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