Libya rebels release two Russian reporters: paper

8th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Libyan rebels on Friday released two Russian reporters they had captured earlier in the day in Ajdabiya, their paper said.

The mass circulation Komsomolskaya Pravda said its reporters were captured as the rebels were retreating from the strategic city in the face of a new push by forces loyal to Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi.

The two were then delivered to a military base near the eastern rebel stronghold of Benghazi, where they had to give up their documents and equipment and answer question about their future travel plans.

"The Libyan rebels have released our special correspondents from the military base near Benghazi," Komsomolskaya Pravda, one of the country's most widely read dailies, said on its website.

"We are extremely glad to see this safely resolved. The guys still want to remain in Libya, but the paper is currently looking into the wisdom of keeping them in the region," Komsomolskaya Pravda said.

The Moscow-based reporters' capture underscored the tensions between Russia and the rebel movement.

Russia has criticised the international air campaign over Libya, arguing it had led to civilian casualties and was aimed at assisting the rebels, something not sanctioned by the UN Security Council in a vote from which Moscow abstained.

The Russian foreign ministry had earlier issued a firm statement demanding the rebel leadership in Benghazi "do everything possible to resolve this incident as soon as possible".

© 2011 AFP

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