Fatah gunmen rescue kidnapped student

Oct. 12, 2006 at 12:53 AM

NABLUS, West Bank, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Gunmen from the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades burst into a West Bank apartment and freed a kidnapped U.S. student unharmed, reports from the region say.

Michael Leighton Phillips, 24, a volunteer and a student, was teaching English for Project Hope in Palestinian refugee camps near the West Bank city of Nablus when he was kidnapped.

Phillips was abducted by a previously unknown militant group calling itself Ansar A-Sunna, YnetNews.com reported. However, a Palestinian official later pointed the finger at the Popular Resistance Committees, Ynet said.

The al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades are a Palestinian militant group closely linked to the Fatah political party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

A senior al-Aqsa official who participated in the raid told Ynet Phillips was held for 24 hours and was found tied up in the Nablus apartment.

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