Marie Colvin, the award-winning Sunday Times journalist, has been killed in Syria. It is reported that she died alongside a French photographer in Homs when a house they were staying was shelled.
News agencies say she and the photographer, Remi Ochlik, another veteran war correspondent, were killed by a rocket as they tried to make their escape.
Colvin, who has worn a black eye patch since she lost an eye while working in Sri Lanka in 2001, was regarded as Britain’s foremost front-line war reporter.
In a BBC broadcast yesterday, she described the bloodshed as “absolutely sickening”. She said:
“I watched a little baby die today. 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 wrote of the citizens of Homs “waiting for a massacre”.
She wrote: “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.”
The two were killed when a shell crashed into a makeshift media centre set up by anti-regime activists in the Baba Amr district. According to activist Omar Shaker, three other foreign journalists were wounded.
The pro-opposition areas of Homs has been under a sustained bombardment from government forces since 3 February, causing the deaths of several hundred people.
French television reporter Gilles Jacquier was killed in Homs last month as a shell exploded amid a group of journalists covering protests in the city on a visit organised by the Syrian authorities.
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.”
from Roy Greenslade