Journalist safe after Syria rescue

Borehamwood Times: Journalist Paul Conroy of the Sunday Times has escaped the besieged city of Homs (Shaam News Network/AP) Journalist Paul Conroy of the Sunday Times has escaped the besieged city of Homs (Shaam News Network/AP)

British journalist Paul Conroy is "in good spirits" after escaping from the besieged Syrian city of Homs.

The photographer was injured last week in the attack which killed Sunday Times war correspondent Marie Colvin and French photojournalist Remi Ochlik.

Mr Conroy, 47, from Totnes, Devon, suffered three large wounds to his leg when the media centre where the journalists were working was shelled by Syrian government forces on February 22.

The freelance photographer and film-maker was smuggled out of Homs by Syrian rebels and whisked across the border to Lebanon.

His wife, Kate, said in a statement issued through News International, publishers of The Sunday Times: "I have spoken to Paul and he sounded in good spirits. The family are overjoyed and relieved that he is safe and look forward to getting him home."

Mr Conroy's father, Les, added: "We're all very relieved and happy that Paul's out."

Opposition group Local Co-ordination Committees (LCC) and activist group Avaaz told the Associated Press Mr Conroy was smuggled out of Homs in an operation involving a team of 35 Syrian army defectors. Avaaz said three rebels were killed in government shelling while trying to help Mr Conroy through the neighbourhood and 10 others were killed trying to bring in aid while the journalist was on his way out.

It is 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.

Homs, a stronghold of the Syrian opposition, has become a symbol of the 11-month uprising against the country's president Bashar Assad.

Ms Colvin, 56, was killed after defying an order from her editor to leave the city because she wanted to finish "one more story", her mother Rosemarie has said. Mrs Colvin also told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme she could not rest "with my daughter's remains in that country". The Foreign Office said "all the necessary work" was being done to bring the journalist's body home.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree