NEW YORK – Associated Press photographer Altaf Qadri has gone missing while covering the military conflict in Libya, the news organization said Sunday.

"We have lost contact with our AP colleague, photographer Altaf Qadri, in eastern Libya. We are concerned about his safety and are taking appropriate steps to locate him," the AP said in a statement.

Qadri became separated from his colleagues Saturday near Ajdabiya, a gateway city to the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, according to the AP.

A citizen of India, 35-year-old Qadri is a native of the Kashmiri city of Srinagar. He studied engineering before turning to photography, according to his website. He joined the AP in 2008.

Qadri's awards include a World Press Photo top prize, granted this year for his work in Indian-controlled Kashmir.