TODAY   |  December 28, 2013

Four US military detained, released in Libya

Four members of the U.S. military were briefly held and later released by Libyan government forces at a checkpoint outside of Tripoli. NBC's Ayaman Mohyeldin reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we begin this morning, this hour with that capture and release of four american military members in elaboralibya. they were captured this morning and we have more for you this morning. what can you tell us?

>> reporter: good morning. we have now confirmed from u.s. official that these four american military personnel have been relieved after they were taken into custody by libyan government forces. it occurred 40 miles west of the capital tripoli. it's not clear what the four american military personnel were doing at that time that they were taken into custody an, more importantly, not yet clear whether there was any type of altercation between these four individuals and the security forces that were manning that checkpoint. now according to u.s. officials, it seems that the american military personnel were perhaps engaged in some type of security preparedness mission and that is perhaps considered planning out evacuation roots for diplomatic officials in case they had to get american officials out of the capital tripoli at an accelerated rate, so it underscores the tension between the two countries as you mentioned earlier that this does come a year after the benghazi attacks in which four american diplomats were killed. the relationship between the two countries and following the yesterday's capture of these four american personnel will somewhat be intense.

>> thank you.