Journalists' bodies moved
Benghazi - An aid ship on Thursday ferried
the bodies of two Western photojournalists from the besieged Libyan city of Misrata
to Benghazi after they were killed and two others working alongside them were
wounded while covering battles between rebels and government forces.
British-born Tim Hetherington, the
Oscar-nominated co-director of the documentary Restrepo about US
soldiers on an outpost in Afghanistan, was killed on Wednesday inside the only
rebel-held city in western Libya, said his US-based publicist, Johanna Ramos
Boyer. The city has come under weeks of relentless shelling by government
Chris Hondros, a New York-based photographer
for Getty Images, was also killed on Wednesday. His work appeared in major
magazines and newspapers around the world, and his awards include the Robert
Capa Gold Medal, one of the highest prizes in war photography.
Many circumstances of the incident were
unclear. A statement from Hetherington's family said he was killed by a
The Washington Post reported that the
journalists had gone with rebel fighters to Tripoli Street in the centre of
Misrata, scene of the some of the most intense recent fighting in the city.
After an ambulance rushed Hetherington and
Guy Martin to a triage tent, an American photographer whose bulletproof vest
was splattered with blood implored the drivers to go back for more victims, the
Hetherington was bleeding heavily from his
leg and died about 15 minutes after he reached the triage facility, while
Hondros died after suffering a severe brain injury from shrapnel, the Post
The two other photographers - Martin, a
Briton affiliated with the Panos photo agency, and Michael Christopher Brown - were
treated for shrapnel wounds, doctors said.
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's forces have
intensified their weekslong assault on Libya's third-largest city, firing tank
shells and rockets into residential areas, according to witnesses and human
rights groups. Nato commanders have admitted their airpower is limited in being
able to protect civilians in a city - the core mission of the international air
On Thursday, the bodies of Hetherington and
Hondros were being taken to the de facto rebel capital of Benghazi aboard the
Ionian Spirit, a ferry boat that had arrived in Misrata the day before carrying
food and medicine and was taking out hundreds of Libyans and foreigners fleeing
the city. In Benghazi, representatives from the US and Britain were to take
custody of the bodies to arrange their evacuation from Libya.
The two wounded photojournalists remained in
Misrata's hospital. While Brown was up and walking in good condition, Martin
remained in an ICU, though his condition had improved after extension surgery
for wounds in his leg.
In Washington, the White House expressed
sadness over the attack and called on Libya and other governments to take steps
to protect journalists.
"Journalists across the globe risk their
lives each day to keep us informed, demand accountability from world leaders
and give a voice to those who would not otherwise be heard," press
secretary Jay Carney said.
Hetherington, 40, was killed a day after he
tweeted: "In besieged Libyan city of Misrata. Indiscriminate shelling by
Qaddafi forces. No sign of Nato."
"Tim was in Libya to continue his
ongoing multimedia project to highlight humanitarian issues during time of war
and conflict," Hetherington's family said in a statement. "He will be
Hetherington was nominated for an Academy
Award for his 2010 documentary film Restrepo. The film was co-directed by
Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm.
Hetherington was born in Liverpool and
studied literature and photojournalism at Oxford University. Known for his
gutsy ability to capture conflict zones on film, his credits included working
as a cameraman on the documentaries Liberia: An Uncivil War and The Devil Came
on Horseback. He also produced pieces for ABC News' Nightline.
Hetherington's photos appeared in Vanity Fair
magazine, where he worked as a contributing photographer. He won the World
Press Photo of the Year award for his coverage of US soldiers in Afghanistan's
Restrepo tells the story of the 2nd Platoon
of Battle Company in the 173rd Airborne Combat Team on its deployment in
Afghanistan in 2007 and 2008. The title refers to the platoon outpost, named
after a popular soldier, Juan Restrepo, who was killed early in the fighting.
We're at war, Hetherington said in an
interview with the AP before the Oscars. "We wanted to bring the war into
people's living room and put it into the movie theaters, and get people to connect
with it. It's not necessarily about moral outrage. It's about trying to
understand that we're at war and try to understand the emotional terrain of
what being at war means."
Hondros, 41, had covered conflict zones since
the late 1990s, capturing clutching, jeering and fearful moments from wars
including Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. One front-page New York Times photo
from 2007 showed a Humvee patrol in Iraq from a different angle: The ruddy
hands of an Iraqi interpreter and a pair of muddied boots belonging to a
"He has an intimacy in his work,"
said Swayne Hall, a longtime friend who works as a photo editor with The
Associated Press. "Some people will use a long lens so they don't have to
get up close. But Chris will get up close, he's just not afraid to be with
whatever he's photographing."
Former colleagues said Hondros had a good
attitude, a great eye for detail and a personable nature.
"He is highly intelligent, and he knows
the big picture of world events. And that helped him so much," said former
boss Johnny Horne of the Fayetteville Observer, where Hondros worked from 1996
to 1998. "Chris was able to make a connection with people."
Hondros was born in New York City and moved
to Fayetteville as a child. He studied English literature at North Carolina
State and got a master's degree at Ohio University's School of Visual
Communications. After working for the Observer and the AP in New York, he
freelanced and eventually became senior staff photographer at Getty.
Hondros was planning to be married this
summer to a former photo editor-turned attorney, Christina Piaia. He is
survived by a brother, Dean and his mother, Inge.
Two other journalists have been killed in the
Libyan conflict, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists.
An unknown gunman killed Mohammed al-Nabbous, founder of the online Libya
Al-Hurra TV, in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi on March 19. Cameraman Ali
Hassan al-Jaber was shot when his Al-Jazeera crew was ambushed near Benghazi on
Associated Press writers Colleen Long in New
York and Derrik J Lang in Los Angeles contributed to this report.