Photographer recalls attack that killed Colvin

Marie Colvin's photographer, Paul Conroy, was wounded in the attack in Syria that killed Colvin and Remi Ochlik/
CBS News

(CBS News) In Damascus, the bodies of American journalist Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik have been handed over to foreign diplomats. They were killed in the shelling of Homs eleven days ago.

Colvin's photographer, Paul Conroy, was wounded in that attack and is now recovering in London, where he spoke to CBS News correspondent Charlie D'Agata

At the height of the relentless onslaught of Homs -- like countless civilians, veteran photo journalist Paul Conroy found himself trapped.

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Then, he said, the Syrian army took aim at the building journalists were working in.

"You believe this was a targeted attack?" D'Agata asked.

"When I look back, it was an attack," Conroy said. "It fit none of the patterns. Normally the shelling was random. This...did what it was meant to do."

An ex-British artilleryman himself, Conroy described how Syrian forces shelled the building. The first shots hit wide. A second round narrowed their target.

"The third set of shots hit the house -- "fire for effect" it's called -- and they fired for effect and killed two very good people, wounded a few others, and destroyed the building."

Shrapnel shattered Conroy's left leg, and he was losing blood. Doctors at a makeshift field hospital bandaged him up.

"They have nothing. They have basic bandages, sutures," Conroy said, "and they had people come in, legs amputated, babies sliced in half. Every kind of trauma that artillery shells and rockets can provide are seen in that hospital and it's a slaughterhouse."

He believes President Bashar Assad has begun a systematic assault on the civilian population.

"This is the start," he said. "Once they've crushed Homs, they will seek to eliminate all resistance in Syria. And by eliminate, I mean eliminate. I don't mean silence, I mean kill, crush, maim, bury."

Now that pictures like his will no longer bear witness, and journalists are among the targets, Conroy fears that Syrians are facing a massacre largely unseen by the world.