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New York Times reporter Anthony Shadid dies in Syria

By Reuters
Friday, February 17, 2012 2:26 EDT
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(Reuters) – Pulitzer-prize winning New York Times foreign correspondent Anthony Shadid died on Thursday in Syria of an apparent asthma attack, the newspaper reported.

Shadid, 43, was on a reporting assignment in eastern Syria when he died, according to an obituary posted on the Times web site. It said Shadid was carried across the border into Turkey by Times photographer Tyler Hicks.

The paper said Shadid, who was the paper’s Beirut bureau chief, had been reporting inside the country for about a week without the knowledge of the Syrian government, which attempts to tightly control foreign press coverage.

“Anthony died as he lived – determined to bear witness to the transformation sweeping the Middle East and to testify to the suffering of people caught between government oppression and opposition forces,” Executive Editor Jill Abramson said to Times staff in an internal e-mail, according to the paper.

Shadid twice won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting, once in 2004 and again in 2010, both for his coverage of the Iraq War.

In 2011, Shadid was captured by Libyan government forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi along with three of his Times colleagues while covering the uprising there, but he was released about a week later.

“RIP Anthony Shadid, a truly great journalist and a great colleague,” said Stephen Farrell, who was captured in Libya with Shadid, in a message on Twitter on Thursday.

Hicks told the Times that Shadid suffered a severe asthma attack triggered by the horses used by their Syrian guides.

The pair had snuck into Syria by crawling under a barbed-wire fence in the mountainous northwestern corner of the country, Hicks told the Times.

Shadid was considered an authoritative voice on Middle Eastern conflicts who wrote with an incisive writing style that captured the nuances of region’s complexity.

(Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Peter Bohan)

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