Wednesday, February 21, 2018

U.S. journalist in Syria dies of asthma attack

NEW YORK — New York Times correspondent Anthony Shadid, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner who strove to capture untold stories in Middle East conflicts from Libya to Iraq, died Thursday in eastern Syria after slipping into the country to report on the uprising against its president.

Shadid, who was shot in the West Bank in 2002 and kidnapped for six days in Libya last year, apparently died of an asthma attack, the Times said. Times photographer Tyler Hicks was with him and carried his body to Turkey, the newspaper said.

"Anthony was one of our generation's finest reporters," Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger said in a statement. "He was also an exceptionally kind and generous human being. He brought to his readers an up-close look at the globe's many war-torn regions, often at great personal risk. We were fortunate to have Anthony as a colleague, and we mourn his death."

Shadid's stories appeared in the Tampa Bay Times under the New York Times byline.

Shadid's father, Buddy Shadid, told the Associated Press on Thursday that his son had asthma all his life and had medication with him.

"(But) he was walking to the border because it was too dangerous to ride in the car," the father said. "He was walking behind some horses — he's more allergic to those than anything else — and he had an asthma attack."

The Times reported that Shadid and Hicks had recently been helped by smugglers through the border area in Turkey adjoining Syria's Idlib Province and were met by guides on horseback.

Shadid had been reporting in Syria for a week, gathering information on the resistance to the Syrian government and calls for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down, the Times said.

Shadid, a 43-year-old American of Lebanese descent, had a wife, Nada Bakri, and a son and a daughter.

He had worked previously for the AP, the Washington Post and the Boston Globe. He won Pulitzer Prizes for international reporting in 2004, when he was with the Post, and in 2010, when with the Times, for his Iraq coverage.

Shadid also was the author of three books.

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