MISRATA, Libya (Reuters) - Two photojournalists — Oscar-nominated filmmaker Tim Hetherington and Getty photographer Chris Hondros — were killed on Wednesday after coming under fire in the besieged Libyan town of Misrata.
Hetherington, co-director of Afghan war documentary “Restrepo,” and Hondros were among a group working together on Tripoli Street, a main thoroughfare and scene of fighting between rebels and forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi.
“It was quiet and we were trying to get away and then a mortar landed and we heard explosions,” Spanish photographer Guillermo Cervera said.
Doctors first said that Hetherington had died while Hondros had suffered brain injuries. Getty Images later released a statement saying Hondros had died of his injuries.
Hetherington, who won the 2007 World Press Photo of the Year award, co-directed with Sebastian Junger the 2010 documentary “Restrepo,” which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary.
His British family issued a statement saying they had learned of his death with great sadness and that he would be remembered “for his amazing images and his Academy Award nominated documentary ‘Restrepo.’”
Hondros covered major conflicts including Kosovo, Angola, Sierra Leone, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Kashmir, the West Bank, Iraq and Liberia, according to his website. He received multiple awards including the 2005 Robert Capa gold medal. His work in Liberia earned him a Pulitzer Prize nomination.
“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,” Getty said.
The New York based Committee to Protect Journalists said two other journalists had already been killed covering the conflict.
Mohammed al-Nabbous, founder of the online Libya Al-Hurra TV, was killed by an unknown gunman as he was streaming live audio from a battle in Benghazi on March 19, the CPJ said in a statement. Cameraman Ali Hassan al-Jaber was shot when his Al Jazeera crew was ambushed near Benghazi on March 13.
In Washington, the White House press secretary said in a statement that the Libyan government and all governments across the world must take steps to protect journalists who “give a voice to those who would not otherwise be heard.”
Reporting by Michael Georgy in Misrata and Daniel Trotta in New York; Editing by Myra MacDonald