Kidnapped Russian journalists in Libya contact Moscow editors

Russian journalists abducted by Libyan rebels briefly got in contact with their editors in Moscow to say they were being kept at a military base near Benghazi, Komsomolskaya Pravda’s website said on Friday.

Two reporters from the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper and a TV crew from NTV television were captured by Libyan rebels near the town of Adjdabia earlier on Friday. They were last reported being moved to Benghazi in eastern Libya.

“Alexander Kots and Dmitry Steshin have called the office of the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper to confirm that they have been brought to Benghazi, the rebel stronghold, and were being kept at a closed military base near the city, a former military unit. They are being treated properly but not too politely,” the newspaper said.

Russia has asked NATO and the UN Secretariat to help free a group of Russian reporters kidnapped by Libyan rebels, a NATO envoy and the Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

“I hope that NATO’s assistance will ensure the expedient release of the Russian journalists held illegally by the Libyan rebels,” Rogozin said.

NATO and the UN have established contacts with the rebels, and some NATO members have already opened consulates on the territory controlled by the opposition.

Rebels in Libya have been fighting forces loyal to leader Muammar Gaddafi since mid-February. A NATO-led operation is enforcing a no-fly zone over the country in an attempt to prevent Gaddafi loyalists from attacking civilians.

Russia has refused to participate in the NATO-led operation in Libya, calling for an end to military action and violence and promoting peace negotiations, the ministry said.

MOSCOW, April 8 (RIA Novosti)

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