Missing photographer Anton Hammerl was shot in Libya on 5 April, and is believed to have died from his injuries, according to a statement released by his family last night.

A message posted on the ‘Free Photographer Anton Hammerl’ Facebook page reads: ?At 10pm BST? we received devastating news regarding Anton Hammerl.

?On 5 April 2011 Anton was shot by Gaddafi?s forces in an extremely remote location in the Libyan desert.

?According to eyewitnesses, his injuries were such that he could not have survived without medical attention.?

The 41-year-old freelance photographer, who lived in the UK, was believed to have been captured by Gaddafi loyalists near the oil town of Brega.

US journalists James Foley and Clare Gillis, who went missing at the same time and have been subsequently released, told reporters that Hammerl was shot on 5 April while the group reported on the outskirts of Brega.

Hammerl held South African and Austrian citizenship and lived in Surbiton, Surrey.

‘The family statement adds: ‘Words are simply not enough to describe the unbelievable trauma the Hammerl family is going through.

‘From the moment Anton disappeared in Libya we have lived in hope as the Libyan officials assured us that they had Anton.

‘It is intolerably cruel that Gaddafi loyalists have known Anton’s fate all along and chose to cover it up.’