Wednesday 22 February 2012

Sunday Times journalist Marie Colvin killed in Homs


Marie Colvin, the respected Sunday Times journalist, was killed today alongside French photojournalist Remi Ochlik in Syria. The veteran correspondents were killed by a rocket as they fled the house they were staying in, which was hit during shelling in Homs, a witness told Reuters. Colvin, the only journalist from a British newspaper in the besieged city, had covered conflict for The Sunday Times for the past two decades.  French government spokeswoman Valerie Pecresse confirmed the deaths. At least two other Western journalists, and seven activists were reported to have been injured after in excess of ten rockets hit the house. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it was investigating reports that a British photographer was also injured in the incident. Yesterday government troops heavily shelled the districts of  Baba Amr, Khaldiyeh and Karm el-Zeytoun  in Homs, which is considered to be a stronghold of resistance. Ochlik, the founder of the picture agency IP3 Press, was an award-winning photojournalist who covered events including the 2004 rioting in Haiti and last year’s Arab Spring. US-born Ms Colvin, in her final dispatches had detailed the unfolding conflict in Homs, which has been the focus of unrest against the Syrian president. While working in Sri Lanka a grenade attack left her blind in one eye and forced her to wear an eye patch to cover up the injury. Ms Colvin, who was educated at Yale, started her career as a police reporter for a news agency in New York before moving to Paris and then London. She was featured in the 2005 documentary Bearing Witness about women war reporters and was named foreign reporter of the year at the 2010 British Press Awards. The same year, she spoke at a memorial service for journalists who died reporting conflicts around the world.