For almost a week, a cadre of almost 40 foreign journalists have been stuck in the Rixos Hotel in the middle of Tripoli, but reports indicate that they have finally been permitted to leave.
Ever since the fighting in Libya between rebel forces and those loyal to Col. Muammar Qaddafi began to spread to the capital, forces loyal to Qadaffi refused to let the journalists leave the hotel. As time wore on and images of gun-toting citizens proliferated, concern escalated.
Once CNN's Matthew Chance left the hotel, he tweeted a timeline of their release:
We are expecting the ICRC and Chinese embassy to send cars to pick us up. Fingers crossed. #rixos
4:00p local time: Pandemonium in lobby of hotel, all going back upstairs. Another anti- climax? #rixos
410p local time: After a heart to heart with Arab speaking journos, two Gadhafi guards disarmed. #rixos
415p local time: This feels like the end game in this dramatic and unpleasant situation. #rixos
Running across upper floors of hotel to find a flag with TV written on it. They want to put it on the car. #rixos
Getting flags with “TV” on them ready for when we are released. Which we hope is soon. #rixos
BBC cars arrives at #rixos, BBC crew is leaving the hotel.
436pm local time: BBC has left the hotel
437pm local time: ICRC cars have arrived at the hotel.
438pm local time: Now pulling out of #rixos hotel after 6 days of a complete nightmare. Still dodgy situation
439pm local time: Crammed with other journos in the car. Reuters, other cameramen, FOX, and AP #rixos
We have been holed up together for what seems like an eternity. We could finally get out freedom!!! #rixos
I can see the NTC rebels. We are nearly there!
Compare that to earlier this morning when Chance talked about clashes outside the hotel and eating a Mars bar for breakfast.