Family believes South African photojournalist dead

Image: Anton Hammerl
Photojournalist Anton Hammerl, who has South African and Austrian citizenship, went missing in Libya in early April.AP file
/ Source: staff and news service reports

The family of missing South African photojournalist Anton Hammerl says they now believe he was killed in the Libyan desert by Moammar Gadhafi's forces.

Family spokeswoman Bronwyn Friedlander tells The Associated Press that journalists recently freed by the Libyan regime reported that they were with Hammerl when he was shot in a remote location on April 5.

Friedlander says Hammerl would not have been able to survive without medical attention.

Hammerl's colleagues have been pressing government officials in South Africa to pursue information about him from the Libyans.

Hammerl, who left South Africa five years ago, had worked for such newspapers as Johannsburg's Star, which has been publishing his photo daily to ensure his case was not forgotten.

He moved to London with his wife, Penny Sukhraj, in 2006 and became a freelance photographer, The New York Times reported.

Early in April, Hammerl, 41, went missing in Libya. On Wednesday, four detained journalists — Clare Morgana Gillis, James Foley, Manu Brabo and Nigel Chandler — were released. There was no news of Hammerl.