Trapped journalists freed from Tripoli hotel

Journalists trapped at the Rixos hotel in Tripoli, including BBC correspondent Matthew Price, have been freed.

The news was confirmed via Twitter by CNN senior international correspondent Matthew Chance this afternoon. He wrote: ‘We have been holed up together for what seems like an eternity”, before adding: ‘Rixos crisis ends. All journalists out around 3.50pm this afternoon.”

Earlier he said: ‘Now pulling out of Rixos hotel after six days of a complete nightmare. Still dodgy situation.”

The BBC has also confirmed the release of Price. A report on its website said that ‘he and other journalists were in a 220 square meter area where two gunmen guarding them thought they were fighting for Col Gaddafi and still believed that he would win the battle”.

Price was also quoted as saying: “It was firmly their belief that if we went outside of the hotel, the rebels would capture us, kill us and rape the women.”

He had earlier described the situation as “desperate” with food and water supplies running low and armed men roaming the corridors.

Around 35 foreign journalists were being held at the hotel, where the Gaddafi government obliged foreign journalists to stay when reporting on the conflict.

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