Two Photojournalists Killed in Libya

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A British and American photojournalist were killed Wednesday in the western, rebel-held city of Misrata as they were covering Libya's civil war. At least 10 civilian residents have been killed and and more than 100 injured in Libya's third largest city, with a population of 300,000, medical staff reported.

British-born Oscar-nominee Tim Hetherington, 40, and Getty images photographer Chris Hondros, 41, were killed and two other photographers working with them sustained serious shrapnel wounds.

Details surrounding their deaths were yet unclear although Hetherington's family released a statement saying he had been hit by an RPG -- rocket-propelled grenade. Hondros was mortally injured in the head when his group was hit by mortar shells.

"Tim was in Libya to continue his ongoing multimedia project to highlight humanitarian issues during time of war and conflict," his family's statement read. "He will be forever missed."

Both photographers had gone with rebel fighters to the thick of the battle in the center of town, The Washington Post reported.

According to the report, rescue workers transported Hetherington -- hemmorhaging profusely from his leg -- to a triage tent, where he died within 15 minutes. Hondos died from head injuries.

Guy Martin, a British photographer, and American photojournalist Michael Christopher Brown were both wounded by shrapnel.

According to media reports, the city has been under heavy shelling all week by forces loyal to Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Gadhafi's troops have reportedly targeted residential neighborhoods with tank shells and rockets, eyewitnesses and human rights groups reported.

But Libyan government spokesperson Moussa Ibrahim tells a different story.

"Listen, we do not kill anyone that does not fight us," he said. "We need to check the circumstances in which these journalists died. It is war of course. People die from our side, from their side and people get caught in the middle."

Both Hetherington and Hondros were well-known photojournalists with years of experience documenting war zones.

Hetherington was nominated for an Oscar this year for co-directing "Restrepo," a documentary about U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Hondros' work has been featured in newspapers and magazines worldwide. He was a recipient of the prestigious Robert Capa Gold Medal for war photography.

Human Rights Watch spokeswoman Emma Daly said their bodies would be transported on the passenger vessel, Ionian Spirit, which has been delivering food and medical supplies to Misrata.

Two other journalists killed in the fighting were Mohammed al-Nabbous, founder of Libya's al-Hurra TV, who died March 19 in Benghazi, and Ali Hassan al-Jaber, an al-Jazeera cameraman who was shot dead near Benghazi on March 13 when his crew was ambushed.


AP contributed to this report.

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