Original Account of Day Anderson Freed

DAMASCUS, SYRIA, DEC. 4 -- A nearly seven-year-long journey through Beirut's heart of darkness ended today for Terry Anderson, the longest-held of the Western hostages in Lebanon, bringing almost to a close a chapter of Middle East history that had brought successive U.S. administrations to frustrated impotence before a shadowy group of radical Muslims.

After a day-long delay that U.N. officials attributed to snow-blocked roads, Anderson, chief Middle East correspondent of the Associated Press, appeared before his colleagues at a press conference and said, "You can't imagine how glad I am to see you."

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