Benghazi (Libya): Two Western photojournalists, including an Oscar-nominated documentary film director, were killed and two other journalists wounded in the besieged Libyan city of Misrata on Wednesday.

British-born Tim Hetherington, who won Oscar nomination for his documentary "Restrepo" about US soldiers on an outpost in Afghanistan, and award-winning US photographer Chris Hondros were killed while covering battles between rebels and Libyan government forces.

Vanity Fair, for which Hetherington was working, confirmed the death of the 41-year-old who covered numerous conflicts and won the 2007 World Press Photo Award for his coverage of US soldiers in Afghanistan.

Hondros, also 41, suffered grave head injuries in the same mortar attack, said medics in the western port city of Misrata, and died hours later from his wounds.

"The organisation is deeply saddened to confirm the death of Staff Photographer Chris Hondros who has died of injuries while covering events in Libya on April 20th," the agency said in a statement.

Hondros’ work appeared in major magazines and newspapers around the world, and his awards include the Robert Capa Gold Medal, one of the highest prizes in war photography.

Two other colleagues, Guy Martin, a freelance photographer working for Panos, and photographer Michael Brown, working for Corbis, were also wounded in the attack, the agencies confirmed.

Hetherington and Hondros were the second and third journalist killed in Libya in its two-month-old conflict.

President Barack Obama's chief spokesman, Jay Carney, said the US leader was "saddened" to learn Hetherington had been killed, in a statement released before the news of Hondros' death. 

"Journalists across the globe risk their lives each day to keep us informed, demand accountability from world leaders, and give a voice to those who would not otherwise be heard," Carney said.

"He never shied away from the front line having covered the world's major conflicts throughout his distinguished career and his work in Libya was no exception," Hondros' employer said in its statement.

"We are working to support his family and his fiancée as they receive this difficult news, and are preparing to bring Chris back to his family and friends in the United States. He will be sorely missed."

Pulitzer Prize-nominated photographer Hondros had covered many of the world's conflict zones over the last decade, working in Kosovo, Angola, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Kashmir, the West Bank, Iraq, and Liberia, among other places.