© John Moore/Getty ImagesLibyan rebel fighters celebrate after driving back Gaddafi's forces in Brega.
Three marines seized in Libyan port while trying to evacuate Dutch workers

Three Dutch marines are being held in Libya after they were captured by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi while trying to rescue Dutch workers.

The marines were surrounded by armed men and captured on Sunday after landing near Sirte in a Lynx helicopter that was on board a navy ship, HMS Tromp, which is anchored off the Libyan coast to help evacuations, Dutch defence ministry spokesman Otte Beeksma said.

Dutch officials were in "intensive negotiations" with the Libyan government to secure the marines' release, he said.

"We have also been in contact with the crewmen involved. They are doing well under the circumstances and we hope they will be released as quickly as possible."

Asked if the Dutch government considered the marines hostages, Beeksma said: "They are being held by Libyan authorities."

Two people the marines were trying to rescue were also captured but have been released and left the country. The identities of the marines were not released.

News of the marines' detention came a day after anti-government rebels fought off forces loyal to Colonel Gaddafi in a fierce battle for Brega, a strategic oil facility east of Gaddafi's stronghold in Tripoli.

The prosecutor of the international criminal court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, is expected to announce on Thursday that he is opening an investigation into possible crimes against humanity committed in Libya.

Source: The Associated Press