The two Libyan journalists kidnapped while covering elections in the town of Bani Walid have been released, according to officials.
The two journalists, Yussef Badi and Abdelqader Fasuk, were detained in Bani Walid while they were covering Saturday's historic elections for the Misrata-based Tobacts television channel. However, there have also been reports that they entered the area illegally and photgraphed military areas without permission.
According to the Libyan News Agency, the reporters have been released based on negotiations between the rebels and city elders.
"They have left Bani Walid by helicopter to Jadu and later on they will travel to Misrata," said Fathi Yussef in an interview with Reuters. Yussef is a part of a team from the western town of Jadu which arrived in Bani Walid to negotiate the journalists' release.
The captors demanded the release of detainees in Misrata in exchange of reporters' freedom.
The incident serves only "those who want to sow discord and spoil the joy of the Libyans celebrating successful elections and the first step towards building a new Libya, " said Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Abushagur.
The Doha Centre for Media Freedom launched an initiative in September 2011, committing to providing training to journalists, monitoring press freedom violations and assisting the drive towards an independent, sustainable and successful media.