Diplomatic and Military Affairs

Journalists covering fighting freed

Updated: 2011-08-26 08:03

(China Daily)

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ROME - Four Italian journalists who were taken hostage in Libya were released on Thursday, the Italian foreign ministry said.

The four Italian journalists, three men and a woman, were abducted by militias loyal to Muammar Gadhafi as they were driving in a car near Zawiya in western Libya.

On Wednesday, five Chinese journalists trapped in a Tripoli hotel were safely evacuated with the help of the Chinese embassy in Tripoli, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

"With the concerted efforts of the Chinese embassy in Tripoli and an interim Chinese working group to Benghazi, the trapped journalists were finally evacuated by the embassy staff," said ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry assisted the Chinese embassy in Tripoli to overcome all difficulties in helping Chinese citizens in Libya, he added.

"In times of danger, journalists put aside our differences and work together," Shi Kewei, one of the five Chinese journalists rescued on Wednesday, told China Central Television.

"When a CNN photographer didn't come back to the hotel due to the closed traffic, we gave one camera to the CNN staff in the hotel. We also got help from the other foreign journalists," Shi said.

"Two journalists from the US and Iraq who can speak Arabic even tried to talk the armed guards into releasing us on Tuesday," he added

A total of 35 foreign journalists had been trapped by Gadhafi forces for five days without electricity and other supplies, but no one was injured.

The five-star hotel had been used by Gadhafi forces to accommodate foreign journalists who visited Tripoli after the anti-government protests started in mid February.



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