Photographer missing in Libya is dead, family says

Arab World Materials 20 May 2011 10:55 (UTC +04:00)

Missing photojournalist Anton Hammerl died last month while covering the conflict in Libya, his family said Friday.

The family said it was informed late Thursday that Hammerl, a dual South African-Austrian national, was shot by forces loyal to Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi on the same day he went missing, April 5. It did not reveal the source of the information, DPA reported.

"Words are simply not enough to describe the unbelievable trauma the Hammerl family is going through," the family said in a statement. "From the moment Anton disappeared in Libya, we have lived in hope as the Libyan officials assured us that they had Anton."

"It is intolerably cruel that Gaddafi loyalists have known Anton's fate all along and chose to cover it up," the family said.

The South African government had been negotiating with Tripoli on the basis that Hammerl was alive and this week sent a senior diplomat back to the country to work out his release.

Four foreign journalists were released by Libyan authorities this week after being held since last month.