Awards' photographers put the world in the picture

A picture of a US soldier in Afghanistan taken by UK photographer Tim Hetherington has been named World Press Photo of the year for 2007.

Winning photographs in the 51st annual competition from 10 themed categories will be exhibited worldwide, beginning with the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam from 29 April to 22 June, and will be taken to 100 countries.

Dates and a venue for the UK have not yet been confirmed.

Hetherington’s picture, taken on 16 September, 2007, shows a US soldier resting at ‘Restrepo’bunker, named after a soldier from his platoon who was recently killed by insurgents. It was taken in the Korengal Valley, an eastern province of Afghanistan – an area which has seen some of the most intense fighting in the country, and where a US helicopter was shot down in June 2005.

Jury chairman Gary Knight, a UK photographer, and chairman of VII Photo Agency, said: ‘This image represents the exhaustion of a man – and the exhaustion of a nation. We’re all connected to this. It’s a picture of a man at the end of a line.”

Hetherington, who travelled to Afghanistan on assignment for Vanity Fair, was also awarded second prize in the general news stories category.

He will receive his award at a ceremony in Amsterdam on 27 April. For a provisional schedule visit www.worldpressphoto.org/exhibitions.

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