NEW YORK – Libya released four New York Times journalists on Monday, nearly a week after they had been captured by Libyan forces while covering the conflict there, the Times said, although three journalists for other outlets remain missing.
The four were at the Turkish embassy in Tripoli and would be sent home within hours, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters in Ankara.
The Times journalists are two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and Beirut bureau chief Anthony Shadid, reporter and videographer Stephen Farrell and photographers Tyler Hicks and Lynsey Addario.
"We are grateful that our journalists have been released, and we are working to reunite them with their families," the Times said in a statement.
"We have been told they are in good health and are in the process of confirming that. We thank the Turkish, British, and U.S. governments for their assistance in the release. We also appreciate the efforts of those in the Libyan government who helped secure the release this morning," the statement said.
The group had been traveling through the rebel controlled eastern region of Libya without visas, like many Western journalists, to cover the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi, the Times reported. They were detained by forces loyal to Gaddafi on March 15 in Ajdabiya, the paper said.
Two days later, the Libyan government told the State Department that all four journalists would be released, the Times reported.
However, three journalists including two working for Agence France-Presse, have gone missing while covering the fighting in Libya, the news agency said on Sunday.
AFP said in a statement that Dave Clark, a reporter based at its Paris headquarters, and Roberto Schmidt, a photographer in its Nairobi bureau, had not been heard from since they sent an email to senior editors on Friday evening.
They were accompanied by Joe Raedle, a photographer from the Getty Images agency who also had not been heard from since Friday evening, AFP said.
Clark, 38, and Schmidt, 45, said in the email they planned to travel to an area about 19 miles outside of the eastern oil-rich city of Tobruk on Saturday to meet opponents of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and to speak to refugees fleeing the fighting, AFP said.
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