Clare Morgana Gillis, others detained by pro-Qaddafi forces on Tuesday; U.S. State Dept. working for their release, magazine says
Four journalists, including a freelance reporter for the Atlantic, have been captured in Libya by pro-Qaddafi forces, the magazine said on Thursday.
The four — theAtlantic.com reporter Clare Morgana Gillis (pictured), GlobalPost.com freelancer James Foley, Spanish photographer Manu Brabo and South African photographer Anton Hammerl — were captured on Tuesday outside of government-controlled Brega. The current location of the four is not known.
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Several Libyan rebels witnessed loyalist troops stop a car carrying the journalists at an intersection where there had been recent fighting. The troops took the four journalists into custody, released the driver, and destroyed the car with an RPG. The rebels later recounted the incident to reporters with The New York Times, who alerted Human Rights Watch in turn.
The capture comes less than a month after four journalists from the New York Times were detained in Libya under similar circumstances. They were later freed.
Gillis, who graduated from Harvard last May, had also reported on Libya for the USA Today and Christian Science Monitor. Her last bylined dispatch for the Atlantic was dated Wednesday, April 6.
The Atlantic learned of Gillis' capture on Thursday and "is coordinating with Human Rights Watch, Global Post, and Libyan government officials to ascertain the current status and location of the journalists." U.S. State Department officials are also working for the journalists' release, and Human Rights Watch "said it had notified NATO of their likely location."
"Clare Morgana Gillis was reporting on the situation in Libya on behalf of The Atlantic and other American publications," Atlantic editor James Bennet said in a statement. "We appeal to the Libyan authorities for her immediate and safe release, and for that of the three other journalists detained with her."