Syria: `US scribe died trying to get her shoes`

American war correspondent Marie Colvin had followed the local custom of removing footwear before entering a building.

London: American war correspondent Marie Colvin was killed while trying to retrieve her shoes so she could flee an Army bombardment in the Syrian city of Homs, her employer The Sunday Times said.

Colvin and a group of other journalists had all followed the local custom of removing their footwear before entering a building in the besieged city which was being used as a rebel press centre, it said.

The journalists were on the ground floor of the building when the upper floors were hit by rockets, the paper said in the first full account of how the attack happened.

Although they were initially unhurt Colvin ran to the hall to get her shoes back from where she had left them. But as she reached it a rocket landed at the front of the building, burying her and French photographer Remi Ochlik in debris and killing them both, the paper said.

British photographer Paul Conroy, who was working with Colvin, and French reporter Edith Bouvier were wounded in the attack.

The Red Cross said yesterday it had failed to agree a deal to evacuate the journalists and wounded Syrians from Homs, as President Bashar al-Assad`s forces resumed shelling the Baba Amr district of the city.

Britain summoned Syria`s ambassador to London on Wednesday to demand that Syrian authorities facilitate "immediate arrangements for the repatriation of the journalists` bodies”, as well as medical treatment for Conroy.