Hetherington, 40, a photographer and filmmaker who famously recounted the plight of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, died shortly after the attack, according to his family and a Washington Post reporter at the scene.
Hondros, 41, a photographer for Getty Images, died several hours later, according to Emma Daly, a spokeswoman for the New York-based group Human Rights Watch. Hondros’s depictions of war’s toll have appeared in many magazines and newspapers, including the front page of Wednesday’s Post.
Misurata continued to try to stave off attacks Thursday by Gaddafi’s forces as they pummeled the only rebel-held city in western Libya with artillery fire, rockets, mortars and bullets.
More than 100 rockets rained down on the center of the city overnight. Throughout the night, wounded people were carted into a makeshift triage tent adjacent to the Hikma Hospital.
According to doctors at the hospital, at least four people were killed Thursday and 23 were wounded. On Wednesday, 10 people were killed — including the two journalists and a Ukrainian doctor — and 120 were wounded.
On Thursday morning, three young men died at the hospital from their wounds. One was carried out in a wooden coffin, and the other two were rolled out on cots covered by colored blankets.
Weeping men called out, “The martyr is the love of God.”
Just as the dead were driven away, a pickup truck pulled in with the mangled body of another victim. “He’s dead! He’s dead!” yelled a friend carrying a Kalashnikov assault rifle.
Doctors waited in plastic chairs near the tent for the next batch of wounded. Most have not slept in days. They treated patients as quickly as possible and released them to make room for others.
Guy Martin, a British freelance photographer who was wounded in the attack that killed Hondros and Hetherington, was out of surgery Thursday, conscious and in stable condition. Michael Christopher Brown, another freelance photographer wounded in the attack, was also recovering.
The journalists had accompanied rebel fighters to Tripoli Street in the city center, which Gaddafi’s forces pounded with mortar fire in an attempt to retake the strategic road that divides Misurata. An ambulance took Hetherington and Martin, 28, who was working for the news agency Panos, from the battle to the triage tent next to the Hikma hospital about 5 p.m. Hetherington was bleeding heavily from his leg and looked very pale.