Rixos Hotel

Still from BBC video footage showing journalists leaving Rixos Hotel

Credit: BBC

Journalists from news outlets including the BBC, CNN and Associated Press have been freed from the Rixos hotel in Tripoli after being trapped in the building for five days.

Speaking on BBC News, reporter for the broadcaster Matthew Price, who spoke about the "miserable" situation inside the hotel earlier today, explained that there had been a "sense of paranoia" in the hotel as the days went on.

He added that there was also a "real fear" that the hotel may be used as a shield against rebel fighters.

"The hotel is a big complex and I got to one point when I thought they're going to use this as a barracks for the army for one last stand.

"We found out we had no viable escape route, didn't know the majority of streets would be in rebel control.

"It was frightening".

BBC foreign editor Jon Williams said on Twitter that he was very grateful to those who helped to secure the release of the journalists, adding it is a "huge relief".

CNN senior international correspondent Matthew Chance tweeted a timeline of the events from the past hour as journalists were let out of the hotel in groups.

"330p local time: Negotiating with guards for our release. They said we can leave, but in small groups," he wrote.

"415p local time: This feels like the end game in this dramatic and unpleasant situation."

Twenty minutes later he tweeted that the BBC crew had been taken from the hotel by car, and then minutes later he himself was "pulling out of Rixos hotel after 6 days of a complete nightmare".

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