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British journalist, Spanish lensman freed by Somali abductors after spending 40 days in caves

British journalist, Spanish lensman freed by Somali abductors after spending 40 days in caves
A handout picture provided by the Telegraph of British journalist Colin Freeman (left) and Spanish photographer Jose Cendon.Photo: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

A British journalist and a Spanish photographer abducted in Somalia were released on Sunday after being held in a series of caves for 40 days.

British reporter Colin Freeman and Spanish photographer José Cendon, both employed by the London-based Daily Telegraph newspape, were abducted as they left from their hotel in Bosasso, in the northern semi-autonomous region of Puntland, on November 26. They had been in Bosasso for about a week to report on piracy.

"The two journalists are free after their ordeals," said the head of Puntland police, Abdullahi Said Samatar on Sunday, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP) "They're taking some rest now and they will be available later. I'm happy to see them recovering their freedom."

Speaking before flying out on a special charter to neighbouring Kenya on Sunday, Freeman said they were "absolutely fine" and had suffered no injuries during captivity, the Guardian reported. "We survived on rice, goat meat and Rothmans," Freeman was quoted as saying on the Telegraph website. "I gave up smoking in 1992 and somehow decided now would be a good time to start up again."

“While we welcome the release of Freeman and Cendon, it is intolerable that journalists are abducted for ransom in connection with their legitimate work,” NUSOJ secretary-general Omar Faruk Osman said. “We reiterate our call for the immediate and unconditional release of three journalists—Amanda Lindhout, Abdifatah Mohammed Elmi and Nigel Brennan—who were abducted in Mogadishu on August 23,” Faruk added.

Date posted: January 5, 2009 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 275