DAMASCUS, Syria (CBSNewYork/AP) – The body of war correspondent Marie Colvin was handed over to embassy officials Saturday by Syrian Red Crescent officials along with the body of French photographer Remi Ochlik.
The bodies, in brown coffins placed on stretchers, were transferred outside the Assad hospital in Damascus and driven away in an ambulance. The journalists’ belongings were placed in black plastic bags.
Colvin, a Long Island native who worked for Britain’s Sunday Times, was killed along with Ochlik late last month during shelling inside the besieged city of Homs.
On Thursday, videos released by activists in Syria said Colvin and Ochlik were buried in Baba Amr. But the Syrian government said the bodies had been disinterred and the government would repatriate them.
On Friday evening, Red Cross spokesman Bijan Farnoudi said the organization had been given the remains of Ochlik and Colvin and would take them to Damascus.
Polish Ambassador Michal Murkocinski and French Ambassador Eric Chevallier recieved and identified the bodies at a Damascus morgue, according to Poland’s Foreign Ministry.
Polish diplomats, in consultation with the U.S., are trying to transport Colvin’s body to the U.S. as soon as possible, the ministry said.
It’s unclear when the bodies will be flown out of the country, but Colvin’s family says they expect her remains to arrive in the U.S. in about a week.
Colvin, 56, grew up in Oyster Bay. She had been working for The Sunday Times for more than 25 years and was at the forefront of international reporting. She lost her eye from a shrapnel wound in Sri Lanka in 2001.
Please share your thoughts below…
(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)