Journalists Held at Tripoli, Libya Hotel Freed
NEW YORK - Foreign journalists held by Libyan forces for days at the Rixos hotel in the capital Tripoli have been freed.
They had been holed up at the luxury hotel without electricity and with food and water running short.
As rebels advanced to oust the regime of Moammar Gaddafi, government forces had refused to let journalists leave the hotel - except for trips into Tripoli conflict zones led by chaperones.
CNN senior international correspondent Matthew Chance, who provided news updates via TV and Twitter, said late Wednesday morning ET via Twitter that he and his peers were now free. “#Rixos crisis ends. All journalists are out! #rixos,” he tweeted.
Earlier he had described frantic preparations for potential releases. “Running across upper floors of hotel to find a flag with TV written on it. They want to put it on the car,” he tweeted.
At 4:38pm Tripoli time, he tweeted: “Now pulling out of #rixos hotel after 6 days of a complete nightmare. Still dodgy situation.”
The journalists were then put into a Red Cross vehicle. Tweeted Chance: “439pm local time: Crammed with other journos in the car. Reuters, other cameramen, FOX, and AP #rixos.”