Journalists freed from hotel

Updated: 2011-08-25 07:30

(China Daily)

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TRIPOLI, Libya - International journalists were freed from the Rixos Hotel on Wednesday after being held for days by armed men loyal to Muammar Gadhafi.

Associated Press journalists said they had left the Rixos in a car and were moving to another hotel.

The journalists had been held at gunpoint by two nervous guards who refused to give up their posts despite rebel victories elsewhere in the city.

A reporter who entered the hotel earlier found the journalists wearing helmets and flak jackets, clustered on the second floor, where a guard said they could not leave.

When asked if some journalists could accompany the reporter of the hotel, the guard said they were not allowed.

Only two guards armed with AK-47s were visible, but they were tense and became highly agitated when other journalists showed up at the gate, including a group in a car decorated with a rebel flag.

Phoenix TV issued a statement on Tuesday, confirming that three of its journalists, including a television correspondent, a cameraman and a technician, were trapped in the hotel along with two journalists from China Central Television (CCTV).

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has contacted the Chinese embassy, asking for direct intervention by diplomatic staff.

AP-China Daily

(China Daily 08/25/2011 page1)