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The Daily Need

Photo: Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros, award-winning war journalists, killed in Libya

Tim Hetherington (right) and Sebastian Junger (left) in Korengal Valley, Afghanistan in 2007 during the filming of their documentary,

Updated | 8:34 p.m. Tim Hetherington, renowned war photographer and director of the Oscar-nominated documentary “Restrepo,” was killed amid intense fighting in the besieged Libyan city of Misrata on Wednesday, according to news reports and the accounts of human rights organizations.

Chris Hondros, a photographer for Getty Images, was also killed in the attack, dying of severe brain trauma within a few hours, according to a statement by Getty Images co-founder and CEO Jonathan Klein. “Chris never shied away from the front line and his work in Libya was no exception,” Klein said. “Chris was a true hero in his dedication and commitment to bringing the important news and the stories of those less fortunate to us all — from far off places.”

Two other photographers working beside Hetherington and Hondros — Guy Martin and Michael Christopher Brown — were also wounded. Martin was said to have suffered severe injuries and was in critical condition in a hospital in Misrata.

Hetherington, a 40-year-old British-born New Yorker who worked as a contributing photographer for Vanity Fair, was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade in an attack by Moammar Gadhafi’s forces, Human Rights Watch said.

Gadhafi loyalists have been bombarding the rebel-held city in northwest Libya virtually since the start of the uprising, and observers have warned of a grave shortage of basic medical supplies and food, including baby formula. Opposition leaders have also criticized the NATO campaign for failing to respond quickly enough to the regime’s attacks on civilians. As Hetherington wrote in his last Twitter update on Tuesday: “In besieged Libyan city of Misrata. Indiscriminate shelling by Qaddafi forces. No sign of NATO.”

Hetherington was known for covering the world’s forgotten conflicts, including in Afghanistan, the subject of his film “Restrepo,” which won the Grand Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award.

“Tim Hetherington was much more than a war reporter,” Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, said in a tribute on the organization’s website. “He had an extraordinary talent for documenting, in compassionate and beautiful imagery, the human stories behind the headlines.”

Hetherington is the third journalist killed in Libya since the start of the conflict there, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, which has documented more than 80 attacks on the press since February. Robert Mahoney, deputy director of the committee, said in a statement: “The Libyan conflict is proving to be an extremely dangerous story for journalists to cover.”

Along with French filmmaker Magali Charrier, Hetherington produced a disquieting short film earlier this year encompassing his 10 years of war reporting. The 19-minute video, named “Diary,” pieces together the disparate sights and sounds of Hetherington’s travels through war-torn regions — from Liberia to Afghanistan — with a haunting, almost ethereal quality. Hetherington described the film at the time as “a highly personal and experimental film that expresses the subjective experience of my work, and was made as an attempt to locate myself after ten years of reporting.”

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  • james r.

    Timothy Hetherington was killed by mortar fire from rebels,whom did so to stir sympathy for their failed enterprise.

  • najwa

    10 years of war reporting…just the thought of that makes my head spin…

  • deannep.

    It really takes alot guts to go into places where you know you might die so others can know whaat is going on. My prayers for those they leaves behind, and all reporters risking there lives.

  • Anonymous

    Just viewed Restrepo last weekend. I’m grateful to Hetherington for bringing us to Afghanistan and the conflict there, which we see little of in mainstream media.

  • Rustyrobotoil

    He, and people like him, give us something that we can’t get from our elected officials, or any other concerned party; the truth. It is without cliché, a necessary, noble, heroic charge and worthy of the respect that we should offer anyone who risks their own preservation for the greater good.

  • Matius Sulan Rea

    The very sad and ugly side of a photographer’s job.Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros, award-winning war journalists, killed in Libya

  • Matius Sulan Rea

    The very sad and ugly side of a photographer’s job.Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros, award-winning war journalists, killed in Libya

  • Matius Sulan Rea

    The very sad and ugly side of a photographer’s job.Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros, award-winning war journalists, killed in Libya

  • Jcooney3

    Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros were the eyes and conscience of a world gone insane… they vision and their souls will be missed in this world.

  • Chimarg

    How sad to have lost this gifted and courageous young man. Our sympathies to his family.