Witness to War

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Photographer Anton Hammerl’s final photos of the Libyan rebel front.

MAY 20, 2011

clip_image002Libya 3rd April 2011 -- Benghazi based Anti Gadaffi freedom fighters 10km outside the recaptured town of Brega and on route to the ever moving frontline bomb rebel 'Shabaab' freedom fighters despite being bombed by Nato aircraft. Gadaffi's forces losing ground close to Aljabya for the sixth time in two weeks. This after the coalition forces handed over the defensive action to Nato who has ceased bombing targets that were seen as harmful to civilians in Libya. On 8 April, loyalist forces attempted to recapture the city. Taking advantage of a disorganised rebel retreat following the Third Battle of Brega, loyalist troops entered the city and had taken control of most of it by 9 April. However, rebel forces soon regrouped and had pushed pro-Gaddafi forces out of the city by 11 April, with heavy support from NATO airstrikes. The front line then stagnated outside of the city, 40 km down the road to Brega. Loyalist shells continued to intermittently strike the western gate and outskirts of t

Xavier Mas de Xaxàs spent a day under fire with Anton Hammerl.

Benghazi-based rebels fighting outside the town of Brega on April 3.

Anton Hammerl/Africa Media Online

Libya 1st April 2011 -- Benghazi based Anti Gadaffi freedom fighters 10km outside the recaptured town of Brega and on route to the ever moving frontline bomb rebel 'Shabaab' freedom fighters despite being bombed by Nato aircraft..Gadaffi's forces regaining  ground close to Aljabya for the sixth time in two weeks. This after the coalition forces handed over the defensive action to Nato who has ceased bombing targets that were seen as harmful to civilians in Libya. On 8 April, loyalist forces attempted to recapture the city. Taking advantage of a disorganised rebel retreat following the Third Battle of Brega, loyalist troops entered the city and had taken control of most of it by 9 April. However, rebel forces soon regrouped and had pushed pro-Gaddafi forces out of the city by 11 April, with heavy support from NATO airstrikes. The front line then stagnated outside of the city, 40 km down the road to Brega. Loyalist shells continued to intermittently strike the western gate and outskirts

Rebel fighters heading toward the front line near Brega on April 3.

Anton Hammerl/Africa Media Online

Libya 3rd April 2011 -- Benghazi based Anti Gadaffi freedom fighters 10km outside the recaptured town of Brega and on route to the ever moving frontline bomb rebel 'Shabaab' freedom fighters despite being bombed by Nato aircraft..Gadaffi's forces losing ground close to Aljabya for the sixth time in two weeks. This after the coalition forces handed over the defensive action to Nato who has ceased bombing targets that were seen as harmful to civilians in Libya. On 8 April, loyalist forces attempted to recapture the city. Taking advantage of a disorganised rebel retreat following the Third Battle of Brega, loyalist troops entered the city and had taken control of most of it by 9 April. However, rebel forces soon regrouped and had pushed pro-Gaddafi forces out of the city by 11 April, with heavy support from NATO airstrikes. The front line then stagnated outside of the city, 40 km down the road to Brega. Loyalist shells continued to intermittently strike the western gate and outskirts of t

Libyan rebels in retreat after heavy shelling by forces loyal to Muammar al-Qaddafi.

Anton Hammerl/Africa Media Online

clip_image006Libya 1st April 2011 -- Benghazi based Anti Gadaffi freedom fighters 10km outside the recaptured town of Brega and on route to the ever moving frontline bomb rebel 'Shabaab' freedom fighters despite being bombed by Nato aircraft. Gadaffi's forces losing ground close to Aljabya for the sixth time in two weeks. This after the coalition forces handed over the defensive action to Nato who has ceased bombing targets that were seen as harmful to civilians in Libya. On 8 April, loyalist forces attempted to recapture the city. Taking advantage of a disorganised rebel retreat following the Third Battle of Brega, loyalist troops entered the city and had taken control of most of it by 9 April. However, rebel forces soon regrouped and had pushed pro-Gaddafi forces out of the city by 11 April, with heavy support from NATO airstrikes. The front line then stagnated outside of the city, 40 km down the road to Brega. Loyalist shells continued to intermittently strike the western gate and outskirts of tA Benghazi-based rebel fighter fires his weapon a few miles outside of Brega.

Anton Hammerl/Africa Media Online

clip_image008Libya 1st April 2011 -- Children play on a tank used by Benghazi based Anti Gadaffi freedom fighters 10km outside the recaptured town of Brega and on route to the ever moving frontline bomb rebel 'Shabaab' freedom fighters despite being bombed by Nato aircraft. Gadaffi's forces regaining ground close to Ajdabiya  for the sixth time in two weeks. This after the coalition forces handed over the defensive action to Nato who has ceased bombing targets that were seen as harmful to civilians in Libya. On 8 April, loyalist forces attempted to recapture the city. Taking advantage of a disorganised rebel retreat following the Third Battle of Brega, loyalist troops entered the city and had taken control of most of it by 9 April. However, rebel forces soon regrouped and had pushed pro-Gaddafi forces out of the city by 11 April, with heavy support from NATO airstrikes. The front line then stagnated outside of the city, 40 km down the road to Brega. Loyalist shells continued to intermittently strik

Children play on top of tanks captured from pro-Qaddafi forces by the rebels.

Anton Hammerl/Africa Media Online

clip_image010Libya 3rd April 2011 -- Benghazi based Anti Gadaffi freedom fighters 10km outside the recaptured town of Brega and on route to the ever moving frontline bomb rebel 'Shabaab' freedom fighters despite being bombed by Nato aircraft. Gadaffi's forces losing ground close to Aljabya for the sixth time in two weeks. This after the coalition forces handed over the defensive action to Nato who has ceased bombing targets that were seen as harmful to civilians in Libya. On 8 April, loyalist forces attempted to recapture the city. Taking advantage of a disorganised rebel retreat following the Third Battle of Brega, loyalist troops entered the city and had taken control of most of it by 9 April. However, rebel forces soon regrouped and had pushed pro-Gaddafi forces out of the city by 11 April, with heavy support from NATO airstrikes. The front line then stagnated outside of the city, 40 km down the road to Brega. Loyalist shells continued to intermittently strike the western gate and outskirts of t

Rebel forces fleeing loyalist artillery and nearby NATO airstrikes on April 3.

Anton Hammerl/Africa Media Online

clip_image012Libya 3rd April 2011 -- Benghazi based Anti Gadaffi freedom fighters 10km outside the recaptured town of Brega and on route to the ever moving frontline bomb rebel 'Shabaab' freedom fighters despite being bombed by Nato aircraft..Gadaffi's forces losing ground close to Aljabya for the sixth time in two weeks. This after the coalition forces handed over the defensive action to Nato who has ceased bombing targets that were seen as harmful to civilians in Libya.Libya 3rd April 2011. On 8 April, loyalist forces attempted to recapture the city. Taking advantage of a disorganised rebel retreat following the Third Battle of Brega, loyalist troops entered the city and had taken control of most of it by 9 April. However, rebel forces soon regrouped and had pushed pro-Gaddafi forces out of the city by 11 April, with heavy support from NATO airstrikes. The front line then stagnated outside of the city, 40 km down the road to Brega. Loyalist shells continued to intermittently strike the western ga

Rebels preparing to advance on Brega on April 3.

Anton Hammerl/Africa Media Online

clip_image014Libya 1st April 2011 -- Benghazi based Anti Gadaffi freedom fighters 10km outside the recaptured town of Brega and on route to the ever moving frontline bomb rebel 'Shabaab' freedom fighters despite being bombed by Nato aircraft. Gadaffi's forces regaining  ground close to Aljabya for the sixth time in two weeks. This after the coalition forces handed over the defensive action to Nato who has ceased bombing targets that were seen as harmful to civilians in Libya. On 8 April, loyalist forces attempted to recapture the city. Taking advantage of a disorganised rebel retreat following the Third Battle of Brega, loyalist troops entered the city and had taken control of most of it by 9 April. However, rebel forces soon regrouped and had pushed pro-Gaddafi forces out of the city by 11 April, with heavy support from NATO airstrikes. The front line then stagnated outside of the city, 40 km down the road to Brega. Loyalist shells continued to intermittently strike the western gate and outskirts

Two rebels survey the fighting near Brega on April 3.

Anton Hammerl/Africa Media Online

clip_image016clip_image016[1]Libya 3rd April 2011 -- Benghazi based Anti Gadaffi freedom fighters 10km outside the recaptured town of Brega and on route to the ever moving frontline bomb rebel 'Shabaab' freedom fighters despite being bombed by Nato aircraft. Gadaffi's forces losing ground close to Aljabya for the sixth time in two weeks. This after the coalition forces handed over the defensive action to Nato who has ceased bombing targets that were seen as harmful to civilians in Libya. On 8 April, loyalist forces attempted to recapture the city. Taking advantage of a disorganised rebel retreat following the Third Battle of Brega, loyalist troops entered the city and had taken control of most of it by 9 April. However, rebel forces soon regrouped and had pushed pro-Gaddafi forces out of the city by 11 April, with heavy support from NATO airstrikes. The front line then stagnated outside of the city, 40 km down the road to Brega. Loyalist shells continued to intermittently strike the western gate and outskirts of t

A moment of prayer after days of non-stop fighting on the front line.

Anton Hammerl/Africa Media Online

clip_image018Libya 1st April 2011 - Benghazi based Anti Gadaffi freedom fighters 10km outside the recaptured town of Brega and on route to the ever moving frontline bomb rebel 'Shabaab' freedom fighters despite being bombed by Nato aircraft. Gadaffi's forces regaining  ground close to Aljabya for the sixth time in two weeks. This after the coalition forces handed over the defensive action to Nato who has ceased bombing targets that were seen as harmful to civilians in Libya. On 8 April, loyalist forces attempted to recapture the city. Taking advantage of a disorganised rebel retreat following the Third Battle of Brega, loyalist troops entered the city and had taken control of most of it by 9 April. However, rebel forces soon regrouped and had pushed pro-Gaddafi forces out of the city by 11 April, with heavy support from NATO airstrikes. The front line then stagnated outside of the city, 40 km down the road to Brega. Loyalist shells continued to intermittently strike the western gate and outskirts o

Anton Hammerl was killed on April 5, two days after snapping these pictures. Loyalist forces took control of Brega on April 9, but with heavy support from NATO airstrikes, the rebels were able to recapture the city on April 11.

Anton Hammerl/Africa Media Online

Read more:

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/05/20/witness_to_war?page=full

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