Reporters Without Borders is shocked and saddened by the news that Tim Hetherington, a British photojournalist working for Vanity Fair, and Chris Hondros, a US photojournalist working for Getty Images, were killed by a mortar round yesterday in Misrata, in western Libya.
Two other photographers, Michael Brown of the Corbis Agency and British freelancer Guy Martin, were also wounded. All four were on Tripoli Street , the main road through Misrata, which was the scene of the fiercest fighting in an offensive by troops loyal to Col. Muammar Gaddafi.
“We offer our condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Journalism has lost two great professionals whose work gave us remarkable images of recent wars. This tragedy has yet again highlighted the dangers that journalists run when they cover wars. Their deaths bring the number of journalists killed in Libya since the start of the fighting to four.”
Hetherington, who was killed instantly by the mortar explosion, was best known for his full-length documentaries. Born in 1970, he lived and worked for eight years in West Africa and was the only photographer to live behind rebel lines during the civil war in Liberia in 2003. He contributed to the making of Liberia : an Uncivil War (2004) and The Devil Came on Horseback (2007), about the Darfur conflict.
He won leading international photojournalism prizes including the World Press Photo in 2007 for his photos of US soldiers in Afghanistan . They formed the basis of the documentary “Restrepo,” which he made with Sebastian Junger. It was nominated for an Oscar and won the Grand Jury Prize for best documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
Hondros, who died few hours later from the head injuries he sustained in the blast, had covered most of the leading conflicts since the 1990s including Kosovo, Angola, Sierra Leone, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Kashmir, West Bank, Iraq and Liberia . Born in 1970, he had won many international prizes.
The first journalist to be killed during the fighting in Libya was Ali Hassan Al Jaber, a Qatari cameraman working for Al-Jazeera. He was shot in an ambush near Benghazi on 12 March, in which a colleague was also wounded. The second was Mohamed “Mo” Al-Nabous, a Libyan journalist and blogger who was one of the founders of the Libyan TV station Libya Al-Hurra. He was killed by a sniper in Benghazi on 19 March.