2 photojournalists covering Libya unrest killed in attack

Two acclaimed filmmakers and photojournalist documenting the protracted violence in Libya’s war-ravaged city of Misrata were killed with shrapnel wounds, newswire agencies learned Wednesday.

Reports reaching newsrooms bared Oscar nominee Tim Hetherington and photojournalist Chris Hondros were killed while several other photographers were wounded as government forces continue to pound on rebel strongholds in Libya.

Cathy Saypol of Cathy Saypol Public Relations, Inc. confirmed Hetherington’s death citing they have no other details except that Hetherington was hit by an RPG (rocket-propelled grenade).

A town resident who witnessed the incident said the photojournalists were walking in the front-line area along the Tripoli Street in the western portion of Misrata when the RPG which headed near them exploded. It was learned the group was traveling with the rebel fighters.

“It is with great sadness we learned that our son and brother, photographer and filmmaker Tim Hetherington, was killed today in Misrata, Libya, by a rocket-propelled grenade,” Vanity Fair magazine, where Hetherington was a contributing photographer said in a statement.

It added that Hetherington was in Libya to continue his ongoing multimedia project to highlight humanitarian issues during time of war and conflict.

“Tim will be remembered for his amazing images and his Academy Award-nominated documentary ‘Restrepo,” the statement added. Hetherington, 41, was a British native based in Brooklyn, New York.

Meanwhile, Hondros, also 41, died of a fatal brain injury, according to a New York Times reporter who was in the hospital where the victims were brought for immediate treatment.

According to Getty Images, a leading stock photo agency where Hondros was working, it was “deeply saddened” by his passing.

“Chris never shied away from the front line having covered the world’s major conflicts throughout his distinguished career and his work in Libya was no exception. We are working to support his family and his fiancee as they receive this difficult news, and are preparing to bring Chris back to his family and friends in the United States. He will be sorely missed.”

Born in New York City to immigrant parents, Hondros received the 2005 Robert Capa Gold Medal from the Overseas Press Club of America for his coverage of Iraq. He was also a 2004 Pulitzer Prize breaking news photography finalist for “his powerful and courageous coverage of the bloody upheaval in Liberia.”