Paul Conroy

Paul Conroy: injured photographer posted a YouTube video from inside Homs

Four western journalists who were trapped in the besieged Syrian city of Homs have spoken about their escape from the "massacre".

In his first television interview from his hospital bed in the UK, for Sky News, Sunday Times photographer Paul Conroy said it was "horrifying to think" what is happening in the country now "the cameras are gone".

Conroy was wounded in the same attack that killed veteran war correspondent Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik. Three other journalists - William Daniels, Edith Bouvier and Javier Espinosa - are now safely home.

Conroy told Sky News: "I've worked in many warzones. I've never seen or been in shelling like this. They're systematically moving through neighbourhoods with munitions that are used for battlefields. It's unfathomable, the sustained barrage.

"It's a massacre and it's horrifying to think that once the cameras are gone, as they are now, God knows what's happening."

Paying tribute to Marie Colvin, he added: "Marie was a unique person. To work with her was an absolute privilege. She's tenacious, one of the bravest people I know.

"We never get the choice of how we die, but Marie died doing something she was completely passionate about. She was in one of the most dangerous situations in the world at this current time and she just wanted to tell the truth."

In the Sunday Times yesterday [paywall] , Conroy spoke of his escape by motorbike from the besieged Baba Amr district of Homs and said: "I hadn't left the building for five days. The first thing I noticed was that the street was gone. When I'd gone in, there had been houses all around us."

Writing in the Observer, Spanish journalist Javier Espinosa, who also escaped Homs, said: "Fifty or more of us - many disabled by their wounds - were trying to break out of the besieged neighbourhood of Baba Amr, fleeing the final attack unleashed by the Syrian regime.

"It was to be a risky night-time dash through Syrian army lines, which would prove just how desperate these people, abandoned to their luck, had become.

"The journey started at 9pm. Lorries full of those trying to flee navigated the deserted, pitch-dark streets at high speed. We drove without headlights, trying not to alert snipers."

French journalist Edith Bouvier, who arrived safely back in Paris on Friday night, told Le Figaro: "We really had the impression that we were directly targeted"

Her colleague, William Daniels, added: "There was only one solution left - the riskiest of them all but our last chance - getting out of Homs by vehicle. We had physically and psychologically had enough. We had to get out."

The bodies of Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik arrived in Paris from Damascus yesterday. Colvin's body is expected to be repatriated to the US today or tomorrow.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in a statement: "We have been in touch with The Sunday Times and they are making arrangements for repatriation with the relevant authorities."

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