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UK photographer killed in Libya

An award-winning British photographer has been killed while covering the conflict in Libya.

Tim Hetherington, an Oscar-nominated film-maker and conflict photographer, is reported to have been killed by a rocket-propelled grenade in the city of Misrata while capturing images of fighting between Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's forces and Libyan rebels. He was killed in the only opposition-held city in western Libya, which has come under weeks of relentless shelling by government troops.

A second photographer was also killed in the attack. Chris Hondros, a New York-based photographer for Getty Images, had covered conflict zones since the late 1990s including Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr Hetherington wrote on his Twitter profile, saying: "In besieged Libyan city of Misrata. Indiscriminate shelling by Qaddafi forces. No sign of Nato."

Other journalists also hit in the attack include British photographer Guy Martin, with Panos Pictures agency, who was hit by shrapnel and was being treated at a hospital in the city. New York-based photographer Michael Christopher Brown was also treated for shrapnel injuries.

Mr Hetherington, 41, who was born in Liverpool and studied Literature at Oxford University, was a contributing photographer for Vanity Fair magazine. His family said that he will be "forever missed".

Journalist and film-maker James Brabazon, a close friend of Mr Hetherington, told BBC2's Newsnight: "Tim was a leading light of his generation - it's really not an exaggeration to say that his eye and his ability, what he did, was unique. His reportage really defined a generation of covering conflict.

"The main thing about Tim to understand is that he was fundamentally a humanitarian. A lot of the work that he did wasn't just for the news or for magazines but was for human rights organisations as well."

He added: "Right now I think what Tim would be concentrating on, as much as anything, is the plight of the civilians in Misrata. That's why he was there, to tell their story."

Mr Hetherington was best-known for his work in Afghanistan, and won the World Press Photo of the Year Award in 2007 - one of the most prestigious for photojournalists. The winning photo shows the soldier leaning against a bunker wall, his hand covering one eye and the other clutching his helmet. His work in Afghanistan led to his creation of the 2010 Oscar-nominated documentary Restrepo.


From Belfast Telegraph