Saturday 04 February 2023

Dutch photo journalist shot dead by sniper fire in Libya

Award-winning Dutch photo journalist Jeroen Oerlemans has been shot dead by a sniper in Libya. Oerlemans, who has worked intensively in the Middle East, was killed on Sunday while out with a mine-clearing team in parts of the city of Sirte which had been freed from IS control.

His death was confirmed by fellow journalist Joanie de Rijke from Belgian publication Knack, who was reporting with Oerlemans.

Dutch foreign minister Bert Koenders said in a statement that ‘Oerlemans is a journalist who kept going where others stopped’.

‘It is extremely sad that he has now paid the ultimate price for this,’ Koenders said.

Rijke told broadcaster NOS Oerlemans was wearing a bullet-proof vest and a helmet when hit. ‘He was unlucky. It could have been anyone,’ Rijkes said.

Oerlemans was kidnapped in northern Syria in 2012 along with British journalist John Cantlie and released by members of the Free Syrian Army.

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