Four U.S. military personnel were taken into custody Friday by Libyan authorities and held for several hours before being released Saturday morning, U.S. officials told NBC News.
Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the State Department, confirmed that the four Americans were taken into "Libyan government custody" Friday.
The circumstances remained unclear Saturday, but U.S. officials told NBC News that the Americans were were conducting a standard review of evacuation routes when they were involved in an "incident" of some kind at a security checkpoint.
The service members were held at the Interior Ministry — not by police or security forces — before they were eventually released, a U.S. official said Saturday.
The New York Times, citing U.S. officials, reported that they were assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, the capital. It said they appeared to have been detained southwest of Sabratha, about 40 miles from Tripoli.