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Final interview: Colvin describes deaths in Syria

LONDON (AP) – This is the text of American war reporter Marie Colvin’s final interview, given to BBC television from the Syrian city of Homs the night before she was killed Wednesday. She was staying in a house in the neighborhood of Baba Amr. Reprinted with the permission of the BBC.

Marie Colvin: It’s absolutely sickening. Just today shelling started at 6:30 in the morning. I counted 14 shells hitting this civilian area of Baba Amr within 30 seconds. There’s a small clinic, you can’t really call it a clinic. It’s an apartment that has been turned into a clinic. You have plasma bags hanging from coathangers.

There was just a constant stream of civilians. I watched a little baby die today. Absolutely horrific. A two-year-old had been hit, they stripped it and found the shrapnel had gone into the left chest. The doctor just said, ‘I can’t do anything.’ His little tummy just kept heaving until he died. That is happening over and over and over.

No one here can understand how the international community can let this happen, particularly when we have an example of Srebrenica _ shelling of a city, lots of investigations by the United Nations after that massacre, lots of vows to never let it happen again. There are 28,000 people in Baba Amr, in homes as I am, besieged. They are here because they can’t get out. The Syrians will not let them out, and are shelling all the civilian areas.

Obviously there is Free Syrian Army here, they are very lightly armed. Kalashnikovs, and I’ve seen a few RPGs. They are essentially playing a defensive role. In fact people are terrified they will leave. There’s just shells, rockets and tank fire pouring into civilian areas of this city, and it’s just unrelenting.

BBC: Is it your sense this is in effect a ‘scorched earth’ policy on the part of the regime?

Marie Colvin: I don’t see what else it can be. There are no Free Syrian Army targets. They are scurrying from building to building. They control to a certain degree the perimeter. Today there was a foray by the Syrian Army, about seven tanks, about 30 foot soldiers. They did manage to keep them out, at huge cost.

But mostly what’s happening is just shells, rockets coming in, just hitting any building. The top floor of the building I’m in was hit last week. The building next to me was just completely obliterated. All the streets I’ve been on, I have not seen one military target. There simply aren’t any. And the wounded and dead I have seen, I would say, are about 80 percent civilians and of course Free Syrian Army fighters. It is shelling with impunity and merciless disregard for the civilians, who simply cannot escape.

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