Kidnapped Italian journalists freed

Four Italian journalists kidnapped by Gaddafi loyalists in Tripoli have been freed.

They have been released unharmed following a raid on a house in the Libyan capital Tripoli, according to reports.

One of the journalists, Domenico Quirico, a reporter for the Italian paper La Stampa, said: “Now I’m fine. Until about an hour ago I thought I’d be dead.”

Quirico and the other three journalists – Elisabetta Rosaspina, Giuseppe Sarcina and Claudio Monici – were abducted on a stretch of highway between Zawiya, a town 30 miles (50km) west of Tripoli, and the Libyan capital yesterday.

According to a BBC report, the armed fighters reportedly killed their driver, who Monici described as a ‘good friend”, in front of them, before they were taken to a house and their possessions stolen.

The corporation also reported that that the four had been treated well and that they received help to escape, although it ‘remained unclear who had freed them”.

An Italian foreign ministry spokesman told AFP news agency: ‘They are now in a hotel with other Italian journalists. They are well,”

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