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'World will look back in shame on this massacre'

The world will look back in shame at the "indiscriminate massacre" that President Bashar al-Assad's regime is carrying out in Syria, according to Paul Conroy, the 'Sunday Times' photographer who was seriously wounded in the city of Homs.

Giving an emotional interview from his hospital bed in London yesterday, Mr Conroy compared the killing in Homs with the Srebrenica massacre, adding that the time for talking was past. "As I'm talking now, people are dying," he told Sky News. "There was no restraint with the cameras there. God knows what's happening now the cameras are gone."

Mr Conroy managed to escape into Lebanon after suffering leg injuries in the same bombardment that killed his colleague, Marie Colvin, and Remi Ochlik, a French photographer, on February 22.

Homs had suffered a "sustained barrage" that was "absolutely indiscriminate", said Mr Conroy. "The massacre and the killing are at full tilt," he said. "I don't know how people can stand by and watch this."

Mr Conroy (47), an experienced freelance photographer from Totness, Devon, said the shelling had begun "religiously" every day at 6am and was worse than anything he had experienced in other war zones.

Syrian forces were "systematic in moving through neighbourhoods with munitions that are used for battlefields", he said, adding that "men, women and children" were "cowering in houses" and "beyond shellshock".

The Homs he left had been a city of "rooms full of people waiting to die". He said: "They see nothing other than waiting for the moment the soldiers come in or the shell comes through the door."

Mr Conroy escaped after five days sheltering in one building. "I came out and the street was gone," he said. "And in every one of those houses there were people." He continued: "People brought me in half a baby, saying 'where's the help?' And I have no answer. I don't know how we can stand by and watch this. It's not a war -- it's a massacre, it's the indiscriminate massacre of men, women and children." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent