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Relatives: US man joins rebel fighters in Libya

Libyan revolutionary fighters hide behind a trench during an attack against pro-Gadhafi forces in Sirte, Libya, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011. Rebel forces have besieged Sirte since mid September, but have not managed to penetrate the heart of the city because of fierce resistance from loyalists inside the home town of Libya's ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi. Libyan revolutionary fighters hide behind a trench during an attack against pro-Gadhafi forces in Sirte, Libya, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011. Rebel forces have besieged Sirte since mid September, but have not managed to penetrate the heart of the city because of fierce resistance from loyalists inside the home town of Libya's ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi. (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)
October 9, 2011

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BALTIMORE—Relatives and government officials say they are concerned about an American who spent nearly six months in a Libyan prison and now has joined the rebels fighting against forces loyal to longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Matthew VanDyke of Baltimore was captured by Gadhafi forces in March and freed in August after rebels forced open the Tripoli prison where he was being held. But he hasn't left Libya. Recent news photos transmitted from Libyan battlegrounds show the 32-year-old VanDyke dressed in fatigues and standing alongside rebel fighters.

His mother, Sharon VanDyke, tells The Baltimore Sun she supports her son's decision to remain in Libya but is worried that he is fighting. She also says he can no longer expect help from the international organizations that worked to secure his release (http://bsun.md/rgZAup).

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