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British journalist kidnapped in Iraq reports lucky escape

A Dubai newspaper is reporting that one of its journalists in Iraq was held captive for five days in December before being freed by US troops during a chance raid on an insurgent hideout.

English-language UAE daily Emirates Today said its correspondent Phil Sands, a 28-year-old Briton, was kidnapped by unknown gunmen on December 26 from a Baghdad neighbourhood as he travelled with a local driver and interpreter.

He was freed five days later when American military by chance stormed a hideout where he was held, the newspaper added in a front-page report, quoting US military and Mr Sands.

"This is frankly an amazing case. We were conducting raids on 'safe houses' when we discovered Mr Sands," US military Central Command spokesman Captain Eric Clarke was quoted as saying.

"Nobody ever knew he was missing."

Mr Sands said the US soldiers "who were not there to rescue" him found him blindfolded and handcuffed.

"I am so lucky to be alive and cannot wait to see mum, dad and the rest of my family," Mr Sands, who is originally from Dorset, southern England, said following his arrival in Dubai.

Date posted: January 14, 2006 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 10