WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
By Goran Tomasevic
(Editor’s Note: Goran Tomasevic is a veteran war photographer, covering conflict for over 20 years in countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Syria. As Reuters chief photographer for East Africa, Goran is now based in Nairobi, Kenya. This is his story of the attack on the Westgate shopping center on September 21, 2013.)
I was at home when I heard from a friend about something happening, but we weren’t sure what it was. I went to the Westgate mall and saw some bodies lying in the car park and realized it was serious. I saw some police so I hid behind the cars to take cover and slowly got closer to the gate.
NAIROBI, Sept 21 (Reuters) – Gunmen stormed a shopping mall
in the Kenyan capital on Saturday killing at least 15 people,
according to the Kenyan Red Cross, and sending scores fleeing
into shops, a cinema and onto the streets seeking safety.
The Somali militant group al Shabaab had threatened to
strike the Westgate mall, popular with the city’s expatriate
community; but there was no immediate claim of responsibility
from any group. Al Shabaab said it had no comment on the attack.
As in the ruins of Beirut, Sarajevo or Stalingrad, the conflict in Syria is a sniper’s war. Men stalk their fellow man down telescopic sights on suburban streets, hunting a glimpse of flesh, an eyeball peering from a crack, using decoys to draw their prey into giving themselves away.
During weeks spent tracking the fluid frontline of the battle, veteran war photographer Goran Tomasevic provided daily evidence of an escalating conflict that the UN estimates has killed 100,000 people. Tomasevic photographed with exceptional proximity as combatants mounted complex attacks, managed logistics, treated their wounded, buried their dead – and died before his eyes.
By Goran Tomasevic
Why did I go to Iraq? Because it was a big story.
I was there in 2002 for the presidential referendum where Saddam was the only candidate.
I knew there would be a war. I’d begun my post in Jerusalem but I didn’t go there – instead I went to Iraq. As a Serbian national I didn’t need a visa to enter Iraq. I also had experience covering Kosovo and the Balkan war. I arrived at the end of January 2003, and spent three months there.
DAMASCUS (Reuters) – Rebel fighters in Damascus are disciplined, skilled and brave.
In a month on the frontline, I saw them defend a swathe of suburbs in the Syrian capital, mount complex mass attacks, manage logistics, treat their wounded – and die before my eyes.
DAMASCUS, Feb 20 (Reuters) – Rebel fighters in Damascus are
disciplined, skilled and brave.
In a month on the frontline, I saw them defend a swathe of
suburbs in the Syrian capital, mount complex mass attacks,
manage logistics, treat their wounded – and die before my eyes.
Ain Tarma neighbourhood, Damascus, Syria
By Goran Tomasevic
One moment, I heard two incoming shots. I was already aiming my camera on these two Syrian rebels. I heard the scream and saw one of them get shot. He was still alive as I was shooting but dying as he was carried away.
There was intensive fighting as the rebel group I was with in a Damascus neighborhood was trying to overtake a government checkpoint some 50 meters away. There was another group of rebels who were supposed to fire rocket propelled grenades from a further distance away from the checkpoint. After that, the group I was with was meant to engage the soldiers manning the checkpoint.
When asked about covering South Sudan and its journey to independence, a story that was largely reported as a positive event, photographer Goran Tomasevic had the following to say in a recent interview:
“Honestly, it was one of the most miserable days in my life. It was so disorganized.
Chief Photographer Steve Crisp tells how this picture from Goran Tomasevic appeared Monday on front pages across the world.
“Goran, as ever, was up at first light and on the road heading south from Benghazi after the first night of western bombing. The Reuters multimedia team came upon a convoy of troops loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi who had been attacked. Goran carefully took up a position near the smoldering vehicles when munitions exploded and so was able to capture a wide selection of dramatic and iconic pictures. This coverage was the climax to Goran’s outstanding front line reporting from the rebel advance, retreat and western intervention.
BENGHAZI/TOBRUK, Libya, March 18 (Reuters) – The Libyan
government’s ceasefire declaration on Friday was met by sceptism
in the rebel-held east, where many dismissed it as a ruse and
some saw it as a sign Muammar Gaddafi had reached a dead-end.
In a hotel lobby in Tobruk, a dozen men watched television
in silence as Gaddafi’s foreign minister began a news conference
in which he declared a halt to military operations which had
resulted in a U.N. resolution against Libya on Thursday.