Trapped in Tripoli

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Libyan authorities have blocked a group of some 130 foreign journalists from leaving the Hotel Rixos where they're staying in the capital, Tripoli. The journalists were told by security guards that their presence at expected protests by opponents of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi after Friday prayers would trigger even more violence.

A Libyan government spokesman said the journalists could incite what he described as affiliates of al-Qaeda. "These are exceptional circumstances. I know you're going to talk about it and twist is the way you want," said the spokesman Mussa Ibrahim. "We are preparing to pay this price of preventing you guys from reporting to avoid turning Tripoli into Baghdad."

A revolt against Gaddafi's four-decade rule has left the eastern side of the country - and several towns elsewhere - in rebel control.



© Radio Netherlands Worldwide/ANP/RTR

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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