Award-Winning New York Times Reporter Dies in Syria

Posted February 17th, 2012 at 6:40 am (UTC-5)
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Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign correspondent Anthony Shadid has died while on assignment in Syria for The New York Times.

The newspaper says the 43-year-old Shadid suffered a severe asthma attack Thursday while preparing to leave Syria, where he spent the past week covering opposition forces battling the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. A Times photographer traveling with Shadid took the reporter's body back to Turkey.

Shadid, an American of Lebanese descent who was fluid in Arabic, spent his two-decade career reporting on the Middle East for the Associated Press, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post, as well as the Times. He won the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting in 2004, and again in 2010, for his coverage of the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq while working for The Washington Post.

Shadid's Middle East assignments often put him in danger. He was shot in the shoulder in 2002 while covering the Israeli-occupied West Bank, and arrested in Libya last year along with two other Times correspondents by forces loyal to late dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

The Times says Shadid and his colleague slipped into Syria with the help of smugglers.

Times executive editor Jill Abramson praised Shadid as a reporter “determined to bear witness to the transformation sweeping the Middle East” in an e-mail to the newspaper's staff Thursday.