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Dangerous work

April 21, 2011

The British filmmaker and photographer Tim Hetherington and American photographer Chris Hondros were killed in the ongoing violence in Libya, as leader Moammar Gadhafi continues to shell the besieged city of Misrata.

Tim Hetherington
Hetherington's Afghanistan documentary "Restrepo" was nominated for an OscarImage: dapd

On Wednesday the Oscar-nominated British filmmaker and photographer Tim Hetherington and the American photographer Chris Hondros were among at least ten civilians killed by the fighting in the besieged Libyan city of Misrata.

They are the second and third foreign journalists to be killed since the beginning of the uprising against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, after Al-Jazeera cameraman Ali Hassan al-Jaber was killed in an ambush on rebel stronghold Benghazi on March 12.

Hetherington in front of one of his photos
Tim Hetherington in front of one of his photographsImage: picture alliance / dpa

The Liverpool-born Hetherington was best known for producing and co-directing the documentary "Restrepo," a film about a platoon of US soldiers in Afghanistan. "Restrepo" was nominated for the 2011 Oscar for best documentary.

"Tim was in Libya to continue his ongoing multimedia project to highlight humanitarian issues during time of war and conflict. He will be forever missed," his family said in a statement posted by Vanity Fair, for whom Hetherington contributed.

Hetherington, Hondros and two other journalists were hit by mortar fire on Tripoli Street, the main thoroughfare and center of fighting in Misrata. Hetherington was killed and while Hondros died later of his injuries. Journalists Guy Martin and Michael Brown were also injured.

Calls for more NATO support

As the conflict in Libya continues, rebels are complaining that NATO is not doing enough.

"NATO has been inefficient in Misrata. NATO has completely failed to change things on the ground," said rebel spokesman Abdelsalam.

In recent weeks, some of the bloodiest fighting has happened in Misrata, which is encircled by Gadhafi forces and heavily bombarded. Khalid Abufalgha, a doctor on the Misrata medical committee that tracks civilian casualties said 365 people, including 85 civilians have been killed in the city since it came under government siege about seven weeks ago.

Writing in his last Twitter post on Tuesday, Hetherington described the situation: "In besieged Libyan city of Misrata. Indiscriminate shelling by Gadhafi forces. No sign of NATO."

On Wednesday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy promised the leader of the insurgents that France would intensify airstrikes on Libyan government forces.

Author: Holly Fox (AFP, dpa, Reuters)
Editor: Andreas Illmer

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