U.S. Department of State spokeswoman Jen Psaki announced late Friday that the Americans had been released and that "We are still trying to ascertain the facts of the incident."
On Saturday, the Libyan government defended its detention of the U.S. military personnel. Abdulfattah Saleh, director of national security in the department of Sabratha, said two vehicles in an American convoy sped off from a checkpoint in western Libya after authorities discovered two of the occupants were armed. As those two men were questioned, one of the vehicles in the American convoy sped off and caused an accident.
The two armed Americans and the two Americans in the car accident were then detained and turned over to the Ministry of Interior for questioning. They were detained for hours before being released.
The incident comes a month after the U.S. Department of Defense announced it was planning to train up to 8,000 Libyan troops to bolster Libya's capability to respond to increased violence and heavily armed militias.