Qaddafi Forces Capture 3 Dutch Marines

A Lynx helicopter from the Royal Dutch Navy (Koninklijke Marine).

From Marlise Simmons and Alan Cowell, the New York Times:  Libyan authorities loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi have captured three crew members of a Dutch naval helicopter who were rescuing European citizens, last Sunday, the Dutch Defense Ministry said on Thursday, the first report of foreigners being by held in Libya’s bloody and unfolding uprising.

Otte Beeksma, a spokesman for the Defense Ministry, said in a telephone interview that the pro-Qaddafi forces also captured two civilians being rescued — one Dutch, the other from an unspecified European country — who had since been released.

Mr. Beeksma, said the crew of a Lynx helicopter had landed in the coastal city of Sirte — a pro-Qaddafi stronghold — after flying from a navy ship, the HMS Tromp, anchored offshore. The helicopter was “surrounded by armed Libyan forces late on Sunday afternoon. …”

Mr. Beeksma, speaking in a telephone interview, said “intensive negotiations” were underway to secure the release of three naval personnel seized during what he called a consular operation.  (photo:

Image: planeschoppers%203%203%2011%20Dutch%20Lynx.jpg