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New York Times journalists found in Libya

By Jonathan Woods, msnbc.com: (updated at 9:37am EST on 3/18/2011) The New York Times says four of its journalists who were reported missing while covering the Libya conflict have been found.

The Times reported on its website that the four were captured by forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi and will be released Friday. His son, Seif IslamGadhafi, gave the information to Christiane Amanpour in an ABC News interview.

Times Director of Photography Michele McNally confirmed to msnbc.com that this was the last known image of the photographers (taken Friday, March 11) before they went missing on Tuesday, March 15.

Paul Conroy / Reuters

New York Times photographers Tyler Hicks (right, in glasses) and Lynsey Addario (far left), run for cover during a bombing run by Libyan government planes at a checkpoint near the oil refinery of Ras Lanuf on Friday, Mar. 11. The other photojournalists pictured, starting from second left are John Moore of Getty Images, Holly Pickett and Philip Poupin. Hicks and Addario, along with NYT correspondents Stephen Farrell and Anthony Shadid, were reported missing near lines of advancing Gadhafi forces two days ago, the NYT announced on Wednesday.

Before their disappearance, the four were last in contact with editors on Tuesday from the northern port city of Ajdabiya, where they were covering the retreat of rebels.

Holly Pickett, a photojournalist pictured above with Hicks and Addario, spoke with msnbc.com in a phone interview from Cairo.

Pickett said it was the most chaotic, intense situation she has ever been in.

“Bullets were whizzing past us. You could see the dust stirring on the ground from bullets zipping past our legs. I’ve never taken this much fire before,” she said.

At the end of the day, opposition forces were in a full-scale retreat.

New York Times executive editor Bill Keller said there were unconfirmed reports that the journalists had been detained at a government checkpoint between Ajdabiya and Benghazi, a rebel stronghold. If so, Keller said, they would eventually be taken to Tripoli.

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