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Libya leadership accused of targeting journalists

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Libya leadership accused of targeting journalists

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Libyan authorities want to eliminate independent reporting, a leading media rights group has claimed.

The accusation by Reporters Without Borders follows the deaths on Wednesday of awarding winning British journalist Tim Hetherington and American photographer Chris Hondros. Both men were killed in the besieged city of Misrata.

Libya’s government spokesman, Mussa Ibrahim, denied the claim.

‘‘This is war time, access cannot be complete and free, we have security risks, we have warned before,’‘ he said.

But the Director of Reporters Without Borders, Jean-Francois Julliard, condemned Tripoli’s actions.

‘‘It’s very clear that the Libyan authorities don’t want journalists to work freely in the country, they don’t want journalists to be in Libya to report independently on the situations,’‘ he said.

Reports say a group, which included the two dead journalists, was attacked by government forces. Despite the risk to reporters in Libya, several news organisations have insisted they will remain in the country.