Journalist Paul Conroy 'in good spirits' after Syria rescue

 

British journalist Paul Conroy was "in good spirits" today 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 35Syrian 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.

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

The British Ambassador to Lebanon, Tom Fletcher, told his Twitter followers his consulate was "looking after" Mr Conroy.

He added: "Paul's experience a chilling testimony to what families in Homs experiencing. Need renewed focus on humanitarian support & end to violence."

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.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Foreign Secretary William Hague said he was "horrified" at the ongoing bloodshed Syria - but stopped short of threatening force to stop the violence and topple President Bashar al-Assad

"I pay tribute to journalists who ensure that the world is aware of the crimes that are now being committed, something that we are determined to document and seek justice for," he added.

"Too many people have already lost their lives in Homs and elsewhere in Syria, and we again urge the Syrian regime to ensure an end to the violence against civilians and access for humanitarian agencies."

UN political chief B. Lynn Pascoe told the Security Council today there are "credible" reports that more than 100 civilians are dying in the country each day.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
  • Get to the point
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

SThree: Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Do you want to get in...

Ashdown Group: Project Manager - Birmingham - up to £40,000 - 12 month FTC

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Manager - Birmingham - ...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before