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Two Bklyn war photographers dead in Libya

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Two acclaimed Brooklyn-based photojournalists were killed on Wednesday doing their jobs in war-torn Libya.

Williamsburg-resident Tim Hetherington, whose Afghanistan documentary “Restrepo” was nominated for an Oscar this year, was on assignment in rebel-held Misruta when he was caught in a hail of shells launched by forces loyal to Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi.

He died within a few hours.

His colleague Chris Hondros, who worked out of a studio on Varick Street near Nassau Avenue in Greenpoint, lapsed into a coma after being hit by the shells and was pronounced dead several hours later, according to the New York Times.

The new evidence of the horrifying cost of war stunned many in the borough that the two world travelers called home.

“We worked with him for a long time, so this is such a big loss for us,” said Nan Richardson, publisher of Umbrage Editions, the DUMBO company that put out Hetherington’s photography book “Long Story Bit By Bit: Liberia Retold” in 2009. “He took part in our photo festival last year and his piece, ‘Sweeping Soldiers’ was the most powerful work in the festival.”

Hetherington lived between S. 11th Street and Division Avenue, but most of his work focused on international subjects. But Hondros, a senior correspondent for Getty images who has photographed some of the world’s worst conflicts in the past 20 years, often documented his home borough.

“I’ve seen him around a lot,” said Mark Zustovich, spokesman for Borough President Markowitz. “He photographed our World AIDS Day event last year. He covered the opening of the Long Island Rail Road Terminal.”

Hondros, 41, was born in New York, but grew up in North Carolina. He covered wars in more than a dozen countries from Kosovo to Iraq, and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 2004.

The Britain-born Hetherington, 40, was one of the best-known photojournalists on the planet. He’s racked up awards, including the Grand Jury Award at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival for “Restrepo,” and was a Pulitzer finalist, like Hondros.

“Brooklyn extends its deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues,” said Markowitz in a written statement. “These two men were doing what they did best — reporting to the world about the horrors of war.”

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Reader Feedback

Sam says:
Unfortunately those are the risks of reporting in a war zone. Very sad. Prayers for the families.
April 21, 2011, 1:19 pm
mustafa Gorgunel says:
I hate the journalists being dead; they are just doing their jobs. Why they sould be dead?
April 21, 2011, 1:45 pm
Dave from Clinton Hill says:
Horrible, sad loss that leaves us all worse off. May they RIP and know that their talents and sacrifices touched so many.
April 22, 2011, 12:55 am
Chet Hawkins from Park Slope says:
Sad, painful story. But I'm often disturbed by people who suggest that the journalists didn't "have to" die, as if war is OK as a general concept, it's only the ancillary deaths that are bad.

Sorry, but war is the thing that we need to oppose; innocent, good people are always killed unfairly in war.

Indeed, that's sort of the definition of war.

Let's end war.
April 26, 2011, 2:13 pm

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