Anton Hammerl killed in Libya: Family

Friday, May 20, 2011

Pretoria - South African photographer Anton Hammerl, who had been missing in Libya, is believed to have been killed by Libyan forces, the Hammerl family said on Friday.

A statement released by the Hammerl family on Facebook said that they had been informed on Thursday night that Hammerl had been shot on 5 April.

"At 10pm BST (11pm SA time) this evening we received devastating news regarding Anton Hammerl.

On 5 April 2011 Anton was shot by Gaddafi's forces in an extremely remote location in the Libyan desert. According to eyewitnesses, his injuries were such that he could not have survived without medical attention.

"Words are simply not enough to describe the unbelievable trauma the Hammerl family is going through.

"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 statement read.

Hammerl, who used to work for the Star newspaper, was initially reported to have been captured by Libyan forces on April 5.

Hammerl's wife Penny Sukraj was told by American journalists Clare Morgana Gillis and James Foley of the shooting.

The pair had been released from Libyan custody and spoke to her from Tunisia on Thursday night.

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