Hetherington, an acclaimed international photographer who had worked in conflict zones all around the world, died in an explosion in the western city of Misurata. Fellow photographer Chris Hondros also died from injuries suffered in the blast.
The Los Angeles Times, reporting from Misurata, a city that saw intense fighting between rebel and government forces, said the journalists had been working near the front lines of local militia. The blast was believed to have been caused by a mortar round, according to the Times, which cited doctors and colleagues.
Hetherington's death was reported soon after the explosion. Hondros was taken to a local medical center after suffering grave wounds. Getty Images, for which Hondros was working, disclosed his death in a message to CPJ late that day. Two other photographers were injured in the blast. News reports identified them as Guy Martin, a Briton working for the Panos photo agency, and Michael Brown, who was working for Corbis.
Hetherington, 40, a Briton, and U.S. journalist Sebastian Junger co-directed the 2010 Academy Award-nominated film "Restrepo," which documented the year they had embedded with the U.S. military in Afghanistan. Born in 1970, according to his online biography, Hetherington had won numerous awards, including a 2009 Alfred I. duPont Award for broadcast journalism.