Journalists say they are freed from Tripoli hotel

By the Associated Press | August 24, 2011 | 11:00 AM EDT

Associated Press photographer Dario Lopez-Mills poses for a photo at the Rixos hotel in Tripoli, Libya, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2011. Lopez-Mills is among dozens of journalists that have been trapped for days in the luxury hotel, kept there by government enforcers. (AP Photo/Henry Morton)

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — International journalists say they have been freed from the Rixos Hotel after being held for days by armed men loyal to Moammar Gadhafi.

CNN correspondent Matthew Chance says on Twitter that he and journalists from several other news organizations have left the hotel in a car.

The journalists had been held at gunpoint by two nervous Kalashnikov-wielding guards who refused to give up their posts despite rebel victories elsewhere in the city.

An Associated Press reporter who entered the hotel earlier Wednesday found the journalists wearing helmets and flak jackets, clustered on the second floor, where a guard said they weren't permitted to leave.