Friday, March 11, 2011

WARZONE LIBYA: Closest Call Yet

Headlines Today deputy editor Gaurav Sawant, me and British photojournalist James Wardell had our narrowest escape yet on March 10, after Ben Jawwad -- the frontier of the battle between Gaddafi's forces and Libyan rebels -- came under the fiercest attack yet by government units. After being cleared from Ras Lanuf towards Ben Jawwad, we had gotten out to shoot. In six minutes, we saw four rockets about 70 feet to our left and impact with a thud behind our vehicle. We were flat on the floor, as government positions opened up their rockets and mortars, raining ordnance down virtually all around us. Our cameras rolled for a bit, and then it was us trying our best to get the hell out. An Italian TV crew lost its vehicle in the haze of rocket smoke, and ran towards our vehicle. As we pressed ourselves into a ditch to evade shrapnel, we heard some of it impact the side of our van. The bombardment continued for a few minutes, with the swish-thud continuing to our left. Finally, the driver found his nerves, and we climbed back into the vehicle to zoom back to Ras Lanuf. As we drove, more rockets landed. A few minutes after we left, Ben Jawwad was overrun completely. Two hours later, Ras Lanuf -- the township where Gaurav and I had spent the previous night (at the hospital) -- was shelled and overrun by Gaddafi's forces. We're back in Benghazi now, and will be exiting Libya soon. We captured most of the close call on camera, so look out for it on Headlines Today.

13 comments :

Anonymous said...

Take care man ......

mohit kansal said...

Shivy..Take Care of yourself...we all are concerned about your well being...just be careful

daseja said...

Kudos to what you are doing. But, tell us frankly is it worth risking your life in another country where friendly neighbourhood is not available or not known. Please do come back safely soon. I prefer your fighter jets' reports any day.

Youma said...

Wow, please come home alive Shiv.

SS said...

Take care Aroor saheb!

sahanshu said...

great job shiv bhai and gaurav sawant kudos to you!! come back safe and soon.

indian said...

i always liked you mate ! but why is that i am not feeling proud of you ! there was a time when american journalist stood by side of taliban too !

royalhawk said...

Don't die on us ..we still have weapons systems to select and scoops to know....keep safe...

Anonymous said...

Take care Shiv!

LoneRanger said...

Take Care Shiv

-Anmol

Anonymous said...

It is very brave of you Shiv and team to visit a country in the midst of the revolution. May the higher power keep you and your team safe and wish you the very best.

Waiting for your report/documentary.

Anonymous said...

too dangerous guys... not good.
awesome job but very very scary
pls get home soon.

Abhid-d said...

My goodness Shiv. You and Sawant should be given the highest honour bestowed to journalists when you're back in India !

I hope you remain safe, and most of all, I wish you and Sawant return home safely.

You're an inspiration. Salute you !

ALL THE BEST ! And great, brave reportage !