Turkey: 4 New York Times journalists released

Published: Monday, March 21 2011 10:15 a.m. MDT

RAS AJDIR, Tunisia — Four New York Times journalists who had been held by Libya crossed into Tunisia on Monday after being released.

Photographers Tyler Hicks and Lynsey Addario were seen entering Tunisia in a group with others. The journalists entered Tunisia, Libya's neighbor, at the border crossing which has been used by thousands to flee violence in this North African country.

The four journalists had been handed over to the Turkish ambassador in Tripoli, a spokesman for the Turkish embassy in Washington, Rauf Denktas, said. The New York Times reported the release on its website. In a statement, the Times thanked the Turkish, British and U.S. governments as well as members of the Libyan government who helped secure the journalists' release.

Libyan authorities say the journalists were captured last week by forces loyal to Col. Moammar Gadhafi in Ajdabiya during fighting in the eastern part of the country. The New York Times reported that the four had entered the rebel-controlled area from Egypt without visas, as many Western journalists have.

The other journalists in the captured group were reporter Anthony Shadid and videographer, Stephen Farrell. In 2009, Farrell was captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan and was rescued by British commandos.

Shadid had worked previously for The Associated Press, Washington Post and Boston Globe. He won the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting in 2004 and 2010 for his coverage of Iraq.

Hicks, a former photographer for The Wilmington Star-News in North Carolina and the Troy Daily News in Ohio, was named Newspaper Photographer of the Year in 2007 by Pictures of the Year International and won an Infinity award from the International Center of Photography in 2001.

Addario also has worked for National Geographic and Time magazine and was part of The New York Times team that won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting. She won a MacArthur Fellowship, known as the Genius Grant, in 2009.

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