Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Syrian activists killed in Paul Conroy rescue mission

Up to 13 activists died smuggling the Sunday Times photographer out of the country, it has emerged

Peter Beaumont, Tuesday 28 February 2012

"Paul Conroy, the Sunday Times photographer wounded in the leg in an attack in the besieged city of Homs, has been smuggled out of Syria in a dramatic and dangerous rescue in which up to 13 activists lost their lives, it has emerged.

Conroy survived the attack last week that killed his colleague Marie Colvin. Three other western journalists, including Edith Bouvier, who was badly injured in the same incident, were reported to be still trapped in Homs on Tuesday night. A claim by the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, that Bouvier had also been evacuated was later retracted by his office.

The news came on the day the United Nations said "well over 7,500 people" had been killed in Syria during the 11-month government crackdown on pro-democracy protesters. This figure is significantly higher than previous estimates.

"While we cannot give exact casualty figures there are credible reports the death toll now often exceeds 100 civilians a day, including many women and children," said Lynn Pascoe, the UN undersecretary general for political affairs.

"The total killed so far is certainly well over 7,500 people," he said, adding that the firepower available to the opposition was small compared with that deployed by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad....."

No comments: