U.S. journalist allegedly buried in Syria

Sunday Times journalist Marie Colvin photographed in Tahrir square in Cairo. AP Photo/Ivor Prickett Sunday Times

(AP) BEIRUT - American journalist Marie Colvin, who was killed in the central Syrian city of Homs last week, has been buried in a cemetery in the embattled neighborhood where she died, an activist video posted online Thursday claimed.

In the video, a man says he is in a cemetery in the neighborhood of Baba Amr, where Colvin was killed.

The man, who is unidentified but frequently appears in videos from the neighborhood, says activists decided to bury her on Feb. 27 because they did not have electricity to keep her body refrigerated, and it had started to decay.

He praises the work of Colvin, who sneaked into Syria illegally with a group of other foreign journalists to report on the uprising against President Bashar Assad.

The video's content could not be independently verified.

The Baba Amr second of Homs has been the target of the heaviest Syrian military shelling during a four-week siege of the city. Rebel forces said Thursday they were pulling out of the neighborhood, and a Syrian government official said the army had moved in. Activists say hundreds have been killed in Homs.

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"Marie Colvin was martyred in Baba Amr because she was sending a heavenly message, a humanitarian message," he says, appearing to be on the verge of tears. "She was telling the truth about what is happening in Baba Amr. May got be merciful to you, Marie, as we bury you in this garden."

This image captured from an online video purports to show the body of slain American journalist Marie Colvin in a cemetery in the neighborhood of Baba Amr, in the Syrian city of Homs.
YouTube
The camera shows a body wrapped in white cloth at his feet with a white paper attached to it reading "Marie Colvin" in English. He opens the fabric to reveal the badly burned face of a white person. It cannot be recognized as Colvin.

"May God be merciful to her," the man says as dirt falls on the body. "May God be with us."

Colvin was killed on Feb. 22 in a government rocket attack that also killed French photographer Remi Ochlik and wounded French reporter Edith Bouvier and British photographer Paul Conroy.

The video does not mention Ochlik's body.

Activists smuggled Conroy and an uninjured reporter, Javier Espinosa of Spain, into Lebanon this week. Thirteen Syrian activists were killed getting the two men out, according to the activist group Avaaz.

It remains unclear if Bouvier and another French reporter, William Daniels, are still in the area.

The U.N. says more than 7,500 people have been killed since the anti-Assad uprising started in March, 2011. Activists say more than 8,000 have been killed.

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