Libyan soldiers loyal to Moammar Khadafy's forces fire their guns in the air on the road leading to Ajdabiya, Libya, Wednesday
Four journalists working for the New York Times have gone missing in Libya, the paper reported Wednesday.
Editors at the paper said they were last in contact with the reporting team on Tuesday morning New York time. The paper said it usually has contact with its war reporters several times a day.
The paper said it was told the reporters were last seen in the city of Adjabiya, which was overrun Tuesday by Moammar Khadafy's forces.
"We have talked with officials of the Libyan government in Tripoli, and they tell us they are attempting to ascertain the whereabouts of our journalists," said Executive Editor Bill Keller.
"We are grateful to the Libyan government for their assurance that if our journalists were captured they would be released promptly and unharmed," he added.
The missing reporters are Beirut bureau chief Anthony Shadid, reporter and videographer Stephen Farrell and photographers Tyler Hicks and Lynsey Addario.
Shadid is a two-time Pulitzer prize winner. Farrell was kidnapped in 2009 by the Taliban and rescued in a raid by British commandos. Hicks and Addario have both worked extensively in the region.
The White House urged governments in the region to not target reporters.
"American journalists need to be allowed to do their work, not harassed and not detained," said spokesman Jay Carney.
Several journalists have gone missing in Libya and one - an Al Jazeera cameraman - was killed.
Four BBC reporters were beaten and tortured last week after being detained by Khadafy's security forces and a reporter from the Guardian was detained but later released.
In neighboring Egpyt, Lara Logan of CBS News was sexually assaulted last month while covering the revolt that toppled Hosni Mubarak. Reporters from numerous news outlets were also detained during the uprising there.