Photo: New York Times
Anthony Shadid, Lynsey Addario, Stephen Farrell and Tyler Hicks, who disappeared last week in Libya and returned to safety on Monday, have penned a firsthand account of their ordeal. It is harrowing.
Here’s a glimpse. The full article is here.
Even before the soldiers had time to speak, rebels attacked the checkpoint with what sounded like rifles and medium machine guns. Bullets flew around us, and the soft dirt popped. Tyler broke free and started running. Anthony fell on a sand berm, then got to his feet and followed Tyler, who, for a moment, considered making a run for it.
Lynsey instinctively clenched her cameras as a soldier pulled at them. She let them go and ran behind us. Soldiers tried to get Steve on the ground next to the car, and he pointed at the gunfire. They made him drop his camera, then he ran, too.
We made it behind a simple one-room house, where a woman clutched her infant child. Both cried uncontrollably and a soldier tried to console them. When we got there, soldiers trained their guns on us, beat us, stripped us of everything in our pockets and forced us on our knees.
Tyler’s hands were bound by a strip of a scarf. A soldier took off Lynsey’s grey Nike shoes, then bound her with the shoelaces. “God, I just don’t want to be raped,” she whispered to Steve.
“You’re the translator!” a slight soldier screamed at Anthony. “You’re the spy!”
A few seconds passed, and another soldier approached, demanding that we lie on our stomachs.
All of us had had close calls over the years. Lynsey was kidnapped in Falluja, Iraq, in 2004; Steve in Afghanistan in 2009. Tyler had more scrapes than he could count, from Chechnya to Sudan, and Anthony was shot in the back in 2002 by a man he believed to be an Israeli soldier. At that moment, though, none of us thought we were going to live.
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