Two Western photojournalists, including an Oscar-nominated film director, were killed Wednesday in the besieged city of Misrata while covering battles between rebels and Libyan government forces. Two others working alongside them were wounded.
British-born Tim Hetherington, 40, co-director of the documentary Restrepo about U.S. soldiers on an outpost in Afghanistan, was killed inside the only rebel-held city in western Libya, said his U.S.-based publicist, Johanna Ramos Boyer.
Chris Hondros, 41, a New York-based photographer for Getty Images, was also killed.
The two other photographers - Guy Martin, a Briton affiliated with the Panos photo agency, and Michael Christopher Brown - were treated for shrapnel wounds, doctors said.
The circumstances of the incident were unclear. The statement from Mr. Hetherington's family said he was killed by a rocket-propelled grenade.
The city of 300,000 has come under weeks of relentless shelling. Moammar Gadhafi's forces have intensified their assault on Libya's third-largest city, firing tank shells and rockets into residential areas, according to witnesses and human rights groups. Hundreds of people are believed to have been killed.
Mr. Hetherington was nominated for an Academy Award for Restrepo. His photos appeared in Vanity Fair magazine, where he worked as a contributing photographer. He won the World Press Photo of the Year award for his coverage of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley, and last year he released Infidel, a book of photos capturing the lives of the 173rd Airborne Combat Team.
Mr. Hondros had covered conflict zones since the late 1990s - including Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan - and his work has appeared in major magazines and newspapers around the world. His awards include World Press Photo honours and the Robert Capa Gold Medal, one of the highest prizes in war photography.
The loss reverberated in many circles. Members of Vancouver's Boca del Lupo theatre company were in shock on Wednesday after learning of Mr. Hetherington's death.
He was one of four war photographers Boca del Lupo worked with to create their multimedia work PHOTOG, written largely using verbatim text from interviews with Mr. Hetherington and three other photojournalists who have worked in conflict zones.
"I'm in shock and somewhat devastated," said Jay Dodge, who wrote and performs the work. "We all are here. A lot of people worked on the project. Even those who didn't meet him were impacted by his words."
Boca del Lupo also worked with Mr. Hetherington on Sleeping Soldiers, a video installation that premiered at the New York Photo Festival in 2009. The powerful installation juxtaposed photographs Mr. Hetherington had taken of sleeping soldiers, with sound and video from the battlefield.
"He was more than just an interview subject for us," Mr. Dodge said. "He was definitely a friend and a colleague."
Associated Press, with a report from Marsha Lederman in Vancouver