The four New York Times journalists who went missing in Libya were detained by Moammar Khadafy’s forces and will be released Friday, one of the dictator’s sons said.
Seif Khadafy told ABC News‘ Christiane Amanpour on Thursday that at least one of the four was detained in the northeastern city of Ajdabiya, which was overrun by Khadafy’s forces.
Government officials in Libya later told the U.S. State Department all four would be freed, according to The Times.
The journalists, last heard from on Tuesday, are Beirut bureau chief Anthony Shadid, reporter and videographer Stephen Farrell and photographers Tyler Hicks and Lynsey Addario.
From left to right: Lynsey Addario, Stephen Farrell. (New York Times/AP)
Seif Khadafy said the four entered the country illegally and were captured by the Libyan military.
Speaking of Addario, he said government forces “were happy because they found out she is American, not European. And thanks to that she will be free tomorrow.”
The Times confirmed that the four crossed into the rebel-controlled area without visas — like many Western journalists — to cover the unrest in Libya.
“We’re all, families and friends, overjoyed to know they are safe,” Times executive editor Bill Keller told his newspaper. “We are eager to have them free and back home.”
From left to right: Tyler Hicks, Anthony Shadid. (New York Times, AP)
Shadid is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner. Farrell was kidnapped in 2009 by the Taliban and rescued in a raid by British commandos. Hicks and Addario have worked extensively in the region.
Several journalists have gone missing in Libya in the wave of anti-government protests that have rocked the Arab world. One – an Al Jazeera cameraman — was killed.
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