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Syria correspondent Marie Colvin died trying to retrieve her shoes, paper reports

Marie Colvin, a veteran correspondent who was killed in Syria last week, died trying to retrieve her shoes so she could escape a shelling attack, her paper The Sunday Times has reported.

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Marie Colvin, of The Sunday Times, was killed on February 22, 2012 in Syria, when the building she was in was hit by rocket fire in Homs. (WPA Pool/AFP/Getty Images)

Marie Colvin, a veteran correspondent who was killed in Syria last week, died trying to retrieve her shoes so she could escape a shelling attack, her paper The Sunday Times has reported.

According to a Times report cited by several media, US-born Colvin had followed the Middle Eastern custom of taking off her shoes upon entering a building before it was bombarded with missiles fired by Syrian forces on Wednesday. 

The building was a makeshift press center in the Baba Amr district of Homs, which has been under siege by forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad for more than three weeks.

Colvin was on the ground floor when rockets hit the upper floors, and thinking then that the building was a target, Colvin rushed to retrieve her shoes in the hall. A rocket landed just a few yards away, the paper said.

Colvin, 56, along with French journalist Remi Ochlik were killed in the attack.

(GlobalPost reports: Journalists killed by heavy shelling in Homs)

A Sunday Times photographer with them, Paul Conroy, was hit by shrapnel in the leg and stomach, while Edith Bouvier, of the French newspaper Le Figaro, suffered multiple leg fractures.

The LA Times reported that the two remained stranded in Baba Amr despite efforts by the Red Cross to broker a deal to evacuate them. 

The US and other nations have also demanded that Assad allow humanitarian aid into the country.

However, after an apparent pause to allow in relief teams, Assad's forces resumed shelling, killing at least 68 civilians nationwide, including 24 in Homs, Agence France-Presse cited the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as saying.

The Sunday Times wrote that despite both Conroy and Bouvier needing urgent medical treatment, hopes had faded for a rescue.

Colvin's mother, Rosemarie Colvin, also said aid workers have been trying for days to remove her daughter's body but abandoned an attempt Saturday after deciding that the situation was too dangerous.

"We were told yesterday that today was probably the last day," Rosemarie Colvin told CNN. Her daughter's body may be buried inside Syria now, she said.

Violence has also escalated in the leadup to a nationwide referendum on a new constitution that began Sunday, the LA Times wrote.

Opposition groups seeking Assad's exit have called for a boycott of the referendum, however many Syrians still support Assad and fearing that his removal from power "could lead to Iraq-style chaos and sectarian bloodletting," it added

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/120226/syria-marie-colvin-veteran-shelling-attack-sunday-times