Belfast Telegraph

Irish journalist missing in Libya

Four New York Times journalists, including a reporter with dual British-Irish citizenship, have been reported missing while covering the fighting in Libya.

Editors last heard from them on Tuesday as they were covering the retreat of rebels from the town of Ajdabiya.

Libyan officials told the newspaper they were trying to locate the four, executive editor Bill Keller said in a statement.

The paper said there were unconfirmed reports that forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had detained them.

The missing journalists include reporter Stephen Farrell, who holds dual British and Irish citizenship.

The others are Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Anthony Shadid, and photographers Tyler Hicks and Lynsey Addario.

In 2009, Mr Farrell was kidnapped by the Taliban and later rescued by British commandos. Sultan Munadi, an Afghan journalist and interpreter, and Corporal John Harrison from the Parachute Regiment died in the raid that rescued Mr Farrell.

Mr Farrell was also kidnapped in 2004 in Fallujah, Iraq. He previously worked for the Times in Britain.

The Committee to Protect Journalists said it had documented five assaults, 25 detentions and dozens of attempts to obstruct or intimidate journalists as they try to cover Libya's unrest.

Last week three BBC employees were detained, beaten and subjected to mock executions by Libyan soldiers while attempting to reach the western city of Zawiya. Two weeks ago, Libyan authorities detained a Brazilian reporter and Ghaith Abdul-Ahad of the Guardian newspaper. Both were later released.

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