Pro-Gadhafi forces are holding up to 35 journalists in the Rixos Hotel in Tripoli, The Telegraph reported Wednesday.
The situation isn't entirely clear, but according to journalists in Libya, gunmen have taken control of the hotel. The journalists, including a number of British citizens and a New York Times reporter, are thought to be safe, and earlier pictures indicate that many are wearing flak jackets and helmets.
Reportedly, power and water have been cut off at the Rixos, and the captives have propped mattresses against windows to protect themselves from shooting outside.
The situation deteriorated massively over night when it became clear we were unable to leave the hotel of our own free will, BBC's Matthew Price said on the channel's Today program. Gunmen are roaming the corridors, some of them seemingly trained professional soldiers. There's a huge amount of apprehension and nervousness among the journalists here.
The hotel is protected by a large wall, and pro-Gadhafi forces are firing at anyone approaching on foot, according to The Telegraph. Journalists entering the Roxis by car are being ushered into the hotel at gunpoint.
The Rixos is connected to Gadhafi's Bab Al-Aziziya compound by an underground tunnel, according to reports. Rebels took control of the fortress Tuesday, but were under heavy fire from Gadhafi troops throughout the night. The compound was a significant symbolic victory for the rebels. So far, it doesn't appear that either side is using the tunnels in an offensive or tactical manner.
Troops with AK47s patrol the halls of the hotel, while snipers are positioned on the roof. Reporters hung banners reading Television, press, don't shoot, according to Sky News.
We are speaking to colleagues who are with the rebels. We know they are very close and we get the sense that something is about to happen, said Fox News producer Tadek Markowski in a Sky News interview.
We would love it to end in a whimper and not a bang, but we are moving with a sense of purpose now because we think the end is very close.