BEIRUT (CBSNewYork/AP) — An American journalist from Long Island, who was killed in the 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 Marie Colvin, a native of Oyster Bay, 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.
The various news reports have been a source of grief and confusion for Colvin’s family.
1010 WINS’ Eileen Lehpamer reports
The journalist’s mother, Rosemarie Colvin, spoke with 1010 WINS on Thursday and said “We know nothing about it.”
“I don’t now if it’s true because — on the other hand — some other sources I’m getting, stories that that’s not true — that she’s being preserved and not underground,” she said.
Colvin’s mother said she is not giving up and still holding on to hope, saying “she’ll come home — one way or another.”
“If she is really buried, we’ll still bring her home some day,” Rosemarie Colvin said.
The activist in the video 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.
“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.”
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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