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AFP photographers collect six prizes in Japan and US

TOKYO, JAPAN: Aris Messinis and Yasuyoshi Chiba have been awarded prizes for their work by the Days Japan photojournalism Grand Prix, which recognises the work of photo-reporters around the world.
Messinis, a Greek photographer working in AFP's Athens bureau, won a Special Prize for a series of images taken during fighting in the Libyan city of Syrte, in the last battle before the fall of Muammar Gaddafi. He went on two assignments to cover the Libyan conflict. His work included a photo of a rebel fighter playing the guitar during a gun-battle in Syrte.

Messinis has already won a FotoWeek DC prize for his coverage of events in his native Greece.

Japanese photographer Yasuyoshi Chiba, based in AFP's Sao Paulo bureau, was awarded a Special Prize for his reportage on the tsunami in Japan in March 2011. Then attached to the Nairobi bureau, he was called in on a special assignment to reinforce the Tokyo bureau's coverage of the disaster.

His images also took the first prize in the "People in the News " category at the World Press Photo 2012.

Kudos in the US as well

The White House News Photographers Association, which annually awards photographers accredited to the White House, awarded prizes to three Washington-based AFP photographers.

American photographer Jim Watson took first prize in the "On Capital Hill" category for a shot taken during the House budget Committee meeting in February 2011. He also won third prize in the "Picture Story Sport" category for a series of images entitled "The Road to Victory" recounting Irish golfer Rory McIlroy's US Open triumph.

Second prize in the "Pictorial" category went to American Saul Loeb, for a photo taken during a speech by Barack Obama to the Australian parliament.

Bangladeshi photographer Jewel Samad was awarded a prize for excellence in the "Presidential" category for a photo of the US president and the British Prime Minister David Cameron playing table tennis during a meeting with students at London's Globe Academy on 24 May 2011.
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Read more: Japan, AFP, United States