Monday, July 19, 2010

Kidnapped Journalists freed

Four journalists who were kidnapped by gunmen in Nigeria were freed on Sunday.

The journalists spent seven days in captivity and were reportedly released in a forest in a remote area of Abia state. Although the kidnappers originally demanded a ransom of 250 million naira (1.3 million euros), a police spokesperson said no money was paid.

"Traumatic, confined, frightening," was how Abdulwahab Oba, one of the kidnapped journalists, described the experience.

"We'd almost given up," Oba told RFI. "We had to sleep on the ground without a mat, we were chained on our legs."

The abduction of the reporters created outrage in the country with Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan calling it an "embarrassing situation".

Gunmen had ambushed a convoy of cars carrying the journalists in the southern state of Akwa Ibom on Monday as they travelled to Aba, in neighbouring Abia state.

"I just feel so happy that our brothers are safe and no one succumbed to the threat of the kidnappers who are criminals that go about torturing people emotionally," Nigerian Information Minister Dora Akunyili told the News Agency of Nigeria.

Before the kidnappers released their hostages they took all their personal belongings.


Related stories: Gunmen kidnap 3 local journalists 

Middle class in fear as kidnappings rise 

Plans to introduce the death penalty for Kidnapping underway in Nigeria 

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