Marie Colvin's Body To Be Repatriated

Marie Colvin's Body To Be Repatriated

The body of a Sunday Times journalist killed in Syria is to be repatriated after arriving in Paris.

The French Foreign Ministry said the body of American-born Marie Colvin, along with that of French photographer Remi Ochlik, reached the capital yesterday after being flown from Damascus on a French plane.

Some reports have suggested Colvin's body will be repatriated to the US as early as today or tomorrow. Ochlik's body will remain in France.

Syrian Red Crescent officials had handed over the bodies to embassy officials, with Polish diplomats taking the remains of Ms Colvin following the closure of the US embassy in Damascus last month.

Colvin, 56, and Ochlik, 28, died on February 22 after being trapped inside the besieged Baba Amr district of Homs, which has been a target of heavy military shelling.

Their deaths fuelled renewed calls for urgent international action to avert a humanitarian disaster in Syria where more than 7,500 civilians have died at the hands of brutal leader president Bashar Assad.

Photographer Paul Conroy, who was injured alongside Colvin, told reporters that working with her had been an "absolute privilege".

Speaking from his hospital bed in London, Conroy said: "She was tenacious - one of the bravest people I know and to be quite honest, we never get the choice of how we die, but Marie died doing something she was completely passionate about."

Conroy said he feared for what would happen in Syria with no cameras or journalists there to report.

He said: "It's an attempt to massacre. It's horrifying to think that this is the part we're seeing.

"Once the cameras are gone, as they are now, God knows what's happening. Any talking now is too late."

Meanwhile, Red Cross teams have handed out food, blankets and medical kits to Syrians in central Homs province.

The humanitarian group was trying to help families who fled Baba Amr after a month-long siege and took shelter in nearby villages.

Hicham Hassan, a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), said: "The needs are so far mainly in the forms of food and also blankets because of the cold."

Government forces have blocked humanitarian access to Baba Amr since Friday, a day after troops seized it from rebels.

Opposition fighters had been in control of the neighbourhood for several months, and a regime offensive on Homs that began in early February aimed to retake rebel-held neighbourhoods inside the city.


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