CNN | @mchancecnn
After being held at the Rixos hotel in what increasingly seemed like a hostage situation, about three dozen people, including journalists and foreign diplomats, were released Wednesday. AP has video of them leaving the hotel. CNN Senior International Correspondent Matthew Chance, who had been tweeting updates, described how journalists negotiated with guards, found flags that said “TV,” and were finally picked up by cars sent by the BBC and International Committee of the Red Cross. BBC News’ Matthew Price tells The Telegraph that the journalists had feared that the hotel would be the site of a last stand, but two soldiers guarding them gave up their guns after talking to two Arabic-speaking journalists. The journalists gave one of the guards safe passage home through rebel-held territory. || Earlier: Chance describes “the siege of the Rixos hotel,” with scarce food and water and gunmen roaming the corridors. “It’s a desperate situation,” he said.