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Middle East

A journalist who risked all to cover Middle East hotspots


Anthony Shadid, a highly respected and experienced journalist, has died while covering the conflict in Syria. He had been working, at great personal risk, in a part of the country which has experienced much violence when he collapsed and could not be resuscitated.

Initial reports indicated that Mr Shadid, a writer with The New York Times who had won two Pulitzer Prizes, had suffered a fatal asthma attack.

Mr Shadid was believed to be carrying medication for an allergy to horses – the means of transport along smugglers' routes that have to be used by reporters seeking to enter the country while avoiding the Syrian forces.

Mr Shadid was a brave, resourceful and incisive journalist whose death will diminish the media's coverage of the Middle East, a region in which, partly because of his Lebanese American roots, he had a passionate interest.

In his two decades of covering trouble spots, Mr Shadid was: shot in Ramallah in the West Bank; repeatedly under fire in Iraq; and pursued by Hosni Mubarak's secret police while reporting on the Egyptian uprising.

I met him on a particularly violent day in Ajdabiya during the Libyan civil war, just before he and a group of colleagues were seized by Muammar Gaddafi's forces and subjected to prolonged brutal treatment.

Mr Shadid won his Pulitzers for his coverage of Iraq, in 2004 and again in 2010.