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U.S. journalist Terry Anderson, who had been the longest-held foreign hostage in Beirut, took part in a conference Saturday on press freedom.

"I'm very happy to be back, and I look forward to seeing the progress the country has made," said Anderson, 50, who grew up in Batavia, N.Y., and was chief Middle East correspondent for the Associated Press when his kidnappers seized him on March 16, 1985, at the height of Lebanon's 1975-90 civil war.

It was his second visit to Lebanon since his release in 1991 after 2,455 days in the custody of Muslim extremists. He made his first return to Lebanon in 1996 to film a documentary for CNN about the country's recovery from the civil war.

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