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Updated: March 23, 2011 16:31 IST

New York Times: Journalists abused, threatened in Libya

PTI
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Lynsey Addario, New York Times photographer. File photo: AP.
Lynsey Addario, New York Times photographer. File photo: AP.

"I heard in Arabic, ‘Shoot them," the newspaper quoted reporter Anthony Shadid as saying. "And we all thought it was over."

Libyan soldiers physically abused a team of New York Times journalists and threatened to kill them during the six days they were held in captivity, the newspaper has said.

The journalists said they were captured when their driver mistakenly drove into a checkpoint manned by Libyan forces in eastern Libya on March 15. Their driver is still missing.

“I heard in Arabic, ‘Shoot them,” the newspaper quoted reporter Anthony Shadid as saying. “And we all thought it was over.”

Soldiers tied up the journalists with wire, an electrical cord, a scarf and shoelaces, and hit them repeatedly with fists and rifle butts.

Photographer Lynsey Addario says she was punched in the face and groped. One soldier stroked her head and told her she was going to die.

“He was caressing my head in this sick way, this tender way, saying: ‘You’re going to die tonight. You’re going to die tonight,’” the newspaper quoted Ms. Addario as saying.

The New York Times said soldiers threatened to decapitate photographer Tyler Hicks. Mr. Hicks said they temporarily put handcuffs on Mr. Shadid so tightly that he lost feeling in his hands.

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