International

'Restrepo' Director And Veteran Conflict Photographer Killed In Libya

An award-winning photojournalist known for his incredible work in war zones died today in the Libyan city of Misrata, according to two of the organizations he worked for.

Tim Hetherington was killed when a mortar struck near where he was working, Vanity Fair and Panos Pictures (via CNN) say.

[Update: In the same attack, NPR has confirmed that American photojournalist Chris Hondros, who's covered most conflicts since the late '90s, was also killed. A spokesperson for Getty Images, his employer, said they are working with Hondros' family and friends to bring his body back to the U.S.]

Photojournalist Tim Hetherington, at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards - Nominated Docs! Reception on February 23, 2011 in Beverly Hills, Calif. His film Restrepo was nominated for a Best Documentary Feature. i i

hide captionPhotojournalist Tim Hetherington, at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards - Nominated Docs! Reception on February 23, 2011 in Beverly Hills, Calif. His film Restrepo was nominated for a Best Documentary Feature.

Valerie Macon/Getty Images
Photojournalist Tim Hetherington, at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards - Nominated Docs! Reception on February 23, 2011 in Beverly Hills, Calif. His film Restrepo was nominated for a Best Documentary Feature.

Photojournalist Tim Hetherington, at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards - Nominated Docs! Reception on February 23, 2011 in Beverly Hills, Calif. His film Restrepo was nominated for a Best Documentary Feature.

Valerie Macon/Getty Images

Hetherington, from the U.K., last year co-directed the acclaimed, Oscar-nominated film Restrepo, which documented the lives of a platoon of American soldiers serving at a remote outpost in Afghanistan. A contributing photographer for Vanity Fair, his biography says that Hetherington's interests lie "in creating diverse forms of visual communication and his work has ranged from multi-screen installations, to fly-poster exhibitions, to handheld device downloads." He turned 41 this year.

Hetherington's most recent NPR appearance was on Talk of the Nation in February. He and Restrepo co-director Sebastian Junger discussed that film. As he told All Things Considered last June, he broke his leg while out on a patrol the U.S. solders were conducting. The platoon had to get off a mountainside before dawn, and Hetherington had to walk despite the injury.

Other journalists were also hit in the incident today in Misrata. And there have been multiple reports via Twitter and other outlets that another may have died.

Among those at the scene was Chris Hondros, a 41-year-old American, who "has covered most of the world's major conflicts since the late 1990s, including wars in Kosovo, Angola, Sierra Leone, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Kashmir, the West Bank, Iraq, and Liberia," his biography reads. [Update: Getty Images, Hondros' current employer, confirmed that Hondros was killed in the mortar attack.] "His work has appeared on the covers of magazines such as Newsweek and The Economist, and on the front pages of most major American newspapers, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times."

Photojournalist Chris Hondros poses with a a former Liberian government soldier in Monrovia, Liberia, in 2005. i i

hide captionPhotojournalist Chris Hondros poses with a a former Liberian government soldier in Monrovia, Liberia, in 2005.

Getty Images/Getty Images
Photojournalist Chris Hondros poses with a a former Liberian government soldier in Monrovia, Liberia, in 2005.

Photojournalist Chris Hondros poses with a a former Liberian government soldier in Monrovia, Liberia, in 2005.

Getty Images/Getty Images

In March 2007, Hondros talked with with Morning Edition about one memorable image he took in Iraq: a little girl, covered in the blood of her dead parents. "We share a huge visual memory bank, mostly through painting and other images in history," he said. "I think when a modern photograph taps into those, sometimes very subliminally, it makes people respond." There's a gripping audio slideshow with that Morning Edition report.

Update at 3:25 p.m. ET. More Details And Word About The Others.

The Washington Post reports that its Cairo Bureau Chief, Leila Fadel, happened to be at the hospital where the injured were taken. The Post says that according to Fadel:

"Hetherington appeared to be bleeding heavily from his leg and was very pale, she said. About 15 minutes after his arrival, doctors in the tent pronounced him dead, she said. ...

"About 10 minutes later, another ambulance brought Hondros and other photographers to the hospital. Hondros had suffered a severe head injury. ... Two other photographers, Guy Martin, a British citizen, and Michael Christopher Brown, also suffered shrapnel wounds, but the severity of their injuries was unclear."

Update at 4:48 p.m. ET. The Hetherington Family:

The family of Tim Hetherington has just issued this statement:

It is with great sadness we learned that our son and brother photographer and filmmaker Tim Hetherington was killed today in Misrata, Libya by a rocket-propelled grenade. Tim will be remembered for his amazing images and his Academy Award nominated documentary "Restrepo" which he co-produced with his friend Sebastian Junger.

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.

Update at 6:09 p.m. ET. Chris Hondros Was Also Killed In The Attack:

Getty Images told NPR that veteran conflict photographer Chris Hondros also died in today's mortar attack. Jodi Einhorn, a spokesperson for Getty Images, Hondros' employer, sent this statement to NPR's Allison Keyes:

Getty Images is deeply saddened to confirm the death of Staff Photographer Chris Hondros who has died of injuries while covering events in Libya on April 20th. 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. We are working to support his family and his fiancée as they receive this difficult news, and are preparing to bring Chris back to his family and friends in the United States. He will be sorely missed.

Note that we've updated the headline and lede of this post to reflect the news.

Update at 6:49 p.m. ET. Conflict Photography:

Our multimedia team has put together photo galleries of the work of Hondros and Hetherington:

  • Rebel fighters carefully move into a building where they had trapped government loyalist troops during street fighting on Tripoli Street in downtown Misrata, Libya, on April 20. Photojournalist Chris Hondros was killed by a mortar round the day this photo was taken.
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    Rebel fighters carefully move into a building where they had trapped government loyalist troops during street fighting on Tripoli Street in downtown Misrata, Libya, on April 20. Photojournalist Chris Hondros was killed by a mortar round the day this photo was taken.
  • A rebel fighter celebrates as his comrades fire a rocket barrage toward the positions of troops loyal to Libyan ruler Moammar Gaddafi, April 14, west of Ajdabiyah.
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    A rebel fighter celebrates as his comrades fire a rocket barrage toward the positions of troops loyal to Libyan ruler Moammar Gaddafi, April 14, west of Ajdabiyah.
  • Joseph Duo, a Liberian militia commander loyal to the government, exults after firing a rocket-propelled grenade at rebel forces at a key strategic bridge in Monrovia, Liberia, on July 20, 2003.
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    Joseph Duo, a Liberian militia commander loyal to the government, exults after firing a rocket-propelled grenade at rebel forces at a key strategic bridge in Monrovia, Liberia, on July 20, 2003.
  • Samar Hassan, 5, screams after her parents were killed by U.S. soldiers with the 25th Infantry Division in a shooting in Tal Afar, Iraq, on Jan. 18, 2005. The troops fired on the Hassan family car when it unwittingly approached them during a patrol in the tense northern Iraqi town. Parents Hussein and Camila Hassan were killed instantly, and a son Racan, 11, was seriously wounded in the abdomen...
    Hide caption
    Samar Hassan, 5, screams after her parents were killed by U.S. soldiers with the 25th Infantry Division in a shooting in Tal Afar, Iraq, on Jan. 18, 2005. The troops fired on the Hassan family car when it unwittingly approached them during a patrol in the tense northern Iraqi town. Parents Hussein and Camila Hassan were killed instantly, and a son Racan, 11, was seriously wounded in the abdomen. Racan, paralyzed from the waist down, was treated later in the U.S.
  • An Egyptian anti-government protester stands on a balcony over the front line between anti- and pro-Mubarak factions on the edge of Cairo's Tahrir Square on Feb. 3.
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    An Egyptian anti-government protester stands on a balcony over the front line between anti- and pro-Mubarak factions on the edge of Cairo's Tahrir Square on Feb. 3.
  • A woman in Tahrir Square cries after it was announced that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was giving up power, Feb. 11.
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    A woman in Tahrir Square cries after it was announced that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was giving up power, Feb. 11.
  • A detained man waits to be photographed by Marines for processing with the weapons allegedly found with him, June 24, 2005, near Fallujah, Iraq.
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    A detained man waits to be photographed by Marines for processing with the weapons allegedly found with him, June 24, 2005, near Fallujah, Iraq.
  • Exhausted Israeli soldiers gather on the Israeli-Lebanese border after marching in from Lebanon the morning of Aug. 14.
    Hide caption
    Exhausted Israeli soldiers gather on the Israeli-Lebanese border after marching in from Lebanon the morning of Aug. 14.
  • Medic Sgt. Matthew Kunkle (left) and Pvt. Aaron Livas carry a wounded Iraqi man in Baghdad on May 16, 2008. The man had been shot in the leg by U.S. troops after trying to flee from them. He was immediately treated by the U.S. medic traveling with the platoon and transported to the nearest base for medical care.
    Hide caption
    Medic Sgt. Matthew Kunkle (left) and Pvt. Aaron Livas carry a wounded Iraqi man in Baghdad on May 16, 2008. The man had been shot in the leg by U.S. troops after trying to flee from them. He was immediately treated by the U.S. medic traveling with the platoon and transported to the nearest base for medical care.
  • Men missing arms and ears walk around a camp for amputees in Freetown, Sierra Leone, June 5, 2001.
    Hide caption
    Men missing arms and ears walk around a camp for amputees in Freetown, Sierra Leone, June 5, 2001.
  • A boy looks out at the destruction in Beirut's southern suburbs, Aug. 21, 2006.
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    A boy looks out at the destruction in Beirut's southern suburbs, Aug. 21, 2006.
  • Afghan schoolgirls seen through the window of a Humvee wave to a passing American convoy in downtown Herat, Afghanistan, on June 26, 2010.
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    Afghan schoolgirls seen through the window of a Humvee wave to a passing American convoy in downtown Herat, Afghanistan, on June 26, 2010.
  • Haitians pass in front of the collapsed multistory St. Gerard School in Port-au-Prince on Jan.15, 2010.
    Hide caption
    Haitians pass in front of the collapsed multistory St. Gerard School in Port-au-Prince on Jan.15, 2010.
  • Men brandish flags during a parade celebrating the Shiite festival of Al Ghadeer in the Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad, Jan. 29, 2005.
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    Men brandish flags during a parade celebrating the Shiite festival of Al Ghadeer in the Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad, Jan. 29, 2005.
  • A woman is reflected in a Baghdad shop window on a busy boulevard, Feb. 3, 2005.
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    A woman is reflected in a Baghdad shop window on a busy boulevard, Feb. 3, 2005.
  • An Iraqi police officer fires at attacking insurgents during a Jan. 16, 2005, firefight in Tal Afar, Iraq. A routine patrol in the insurgent stronghold turned into an hourlong running gun battle with a combined U.S. and Iraqi police force battling insurgents across alleys and down boulevards.
    Hide caption
    An Iraqi police officer fires at attacking insurgents during a Jan. 16, 2005, firefight in Tal Afar, Iraq. A routine patrol in the insurgent stronghold turned into an hourlong running gun battle with a combined U.S. and Iraqi police force battling insurgents across alleys and down boulevards.

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  • Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger jointly directed, filmed and produced the film Restrepo from June 2007 to January 2010. In this image, Specialist Misha Pemble-Belkin (left) and fellow soldiers from Battle Company, 173rd US Airborne, are seen during a firefight at Outpost Restrepo during combat in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley.
    Hide caption
    Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger jointly directed, filmed and produced the film Restrepo from June 2007 to January 2010. In this image, Specialist Misha Pemble-Belkin (left) and fellow soldiers from Battle Company, 173rd US Airborne, are seen during a firefight at Outpost Restrepo during combat in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley.
  • An image from Hetherington's book Infidel which was taken while he was embedded with writer Sebastian Junger in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan in 2008.
    Hide caption
    An image from Hetherington's book Infidel which was taken while he was embedded with writer Sebastian Junger in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan in 2008.
  • An image from Hetherington's book Infidel which was taken while he was embedded with writer Sebastian Junger in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan in 2008.
    Hide caption
    An image from Hetherington's book Infidel which was taken while he was embedded with writer Sebastian Junger in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan in 2008.
  • An image from Hetherington's book Infidel which was taken while he was embedded with writer Sebastian Junger in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan in 2008.
    Hide caption
    An image from Hetherington's book Infidel which was taken while he was embedded with writer Sebastian Junger in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan in 2008.
  • A soldier takes cover from the dust being generated by an incoming Chinook helicopter delivering supplies to the Restrepo base. The image is from Hetherington's book Infidel.
    Hide caption
    A soldier takes cover from the dust being generated by an incoming Chinook helicopter delivering supplies to the Restrepo base. The image is from Hetherington's book Infidel.
  • An image from Hetherington's book Infidel which was taken while he was embedded with writer Sebastian Junger in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan in 2008.
    Hide caption
    An image from Hetherington's book Infidel which was taken while he was embedded with writer Sebastian Junger in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan in 2008.
  • An image from Hetherington's book Infidel which was taken while he was embedded with writer Sebastian Junger in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan in 2008. This was part of Hetherington's series on sleeping soldiers.
    Hide caption
    An image from Hetherington's book Infidel which was taken while he was embedded with writer Sebastian Junger in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan in 2008. This was part of Hetherington's series on sleeping soldiers.
  • An image from Hetherington's book Infidel which was taken while he was embedded with writer Sebastian Junger in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan in 2008.
    Hide caption
    An image from Hetherington's book Infidel which was taken while he was embedded with writer Sebastian Junger in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan in 2008.
  • An image from Hetherington's book Infidel which was taken while he was embedded with writer Sebastian Junger in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan in 2008.
    Hide caption
    An image from Hetherington's book Infidel which was taken while he was embedded with writer Sebastian Junger in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan in 2008.
  • Clothes hang out to dry as rain clouds gather over the Restrepo bunker high up on the edges of the Korengal Valley.
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    Clothes hang out to dry as rain clouds gather over the Restrepo bunker high up on the edges of the Korengal Valley.

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Update at 7:18 p.m. ET. The Scene At The Hospital:

All Things Considered talked to James Hider, a correspondent in Libya for the Times of London. He described the scene at the hospital, where Hetherington was treated:

James Hider on ATC

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