Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros killed in Libya

We are shocked and devastated by the news of the deaths of photojournalists Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros yesterday in a mortar attack in Misrata while covering the conflict in Libya. Two other journalists are reported to have been seriously injured in the same incident. Tim and Chris were both experienced in covering conflicts around the world, and both were former prizewinners in the World Press Photo contest.

Tim Hetherington was also deeply committed to our organization and had joined us in many our educational activities, as a Joop Swart Masterclass student and as a tutor in our workshops in Africa. In 2008, he was awarded World Press Photo of the Year for his picture of a US soldier resting in between fighting in Afghanistan. He made a lasting impression on many as an ambassador for World Press Photo, traveling around the world with our exhibition and speaking about the importance of the work of journalists.

"Tim was a truly inspiring and generous person, and strongly committed to visual storytelling," said World Press Photo Managing director Michiel Munneke. "Many of our staff knew him personally and he will be intensely missed by us all. Our thoughts are with Tim's and Chris' families, friends and colleagues - many of whom are out there, risking their own lives, to provide us first-hand accounts of the situation in Libya and from other conflict zones around the world."

There will be a special tribute to Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros during our annual Awards Ceremony in Amsterdam on 7 May.