Four NYT journalists missing in Libya

A NYT report Wednesday quoted editors as saying that Tuesday morning was the last time they were in touch with the journalists, who were reporting from Ajdabiya city. It said it could not confirm an information that the journalists had been swept up by Libyan government forces.

The missing journalists are Pulitzer Prize winner Anthony Shadid; Stephen Farrell, a reporter and videographer; and two photographers, Tyler Hicks and Lynsey Addario. Bill Keller, executive editor of The Times, said: “We have talked with officials of the Libyan government in Tripoli, and they tell us they are attempting to ascertain the whereabouts of our journalists.”

“We are grateful to the Libyan government for their assurance that if our journalists were captured they would be released promptly and unharmed.” The uprising in Libya began Feb 14 to oust Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi who has ruled the country for 41 years. The unrest began in Benghazi, which is now in rebel control, and spread quickly across the country. The troops loyal to Gaddafi have regained control of some of the areas after intense fighting.

Keller said there was speculation that the missing journalists had been detained at a government checkpoint between Ajdabiya and Benghazi.  The editor said if that was the case then they would eventually be taken to capital Tripoli. “Beyond that, we’re still pretty much in the dark,” he said.

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