Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

Lib2011-070

Incident date

April 20, 2011

Location

مصراتة, Misurata, Libya

Geolocation

32.374457, 15.087794 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

Seven civilians were reported killed as a result of indiscriminate shelling on Misurata by Gaddafi forces. Among them were two internationally known photojournalists, Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros.

The BBC reported: “Briton Tim Hetherington, 40, is said to have been killed in a rocket-propelled grenade attack. US photographer Chris Hondros, 41, was also killed, and two others, including Briton Guy Martin, were injured.”

A former colleague later said they were indeed killed by a mortar shell: “Sebastian Junger had planned to be along on that assignment. ‘At the last minute, I couldn’t go,’ he told Koppel. ‘Tim went on his own, and was hit with a fragment from an .81 mm mortar, the same mortar that killed Chris Hondros.'”

In a Vanity Fair article he reiterated the story: “Tim was 40 years old when he died and had devoted most of his professional life to documenting the human cost of war. On April 20, in a bombed-out section of Misrata, a single mortar shell made him part of the cost. He was hit in the groin with shrapnel and bled out in the back of a pickup truck while Guillermo Cervera, a Spanish photojournalist he had just met, held his hand and tried to keep him awake. Hours earlier, amidst fierce shelling by Qaddafi forces, Tim had sent what was to be his last message on Twitter: In besieged Libyan city of Misurata. Indiscriminate shelling by Qaddafi forces. No sign of NATO.”

According to the Daily Mail, three more people were injured in the attack.

Arab Anger Revolution said that five more people were killed on that day in Misurata due to indiscriminate shelling.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Tim Hetherington 40 years old male Photographer killed
  • Chris Hondros 41 years old male Photographer killed
  • Guy Martin Adult male Photographer injured
  • Michael Brown Adult male Freelance journalist injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7
  • (2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected targets
    Libyan rebel forces, Other

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • Tim Hetherington (via CBS)
  • Chrin Hondros (via CBS)
  • Video report on the incident by BBC Arabic
  • Euro News report on the incident

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Misurata (مصراتة), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.374457, 15.087794. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7
  • (2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected targets
    Libyan rebel forces, Other

Sources (9) [ collapse]