French free-lancer freed

Dec. 24, 2007 at 7:02 PM

BOSSASSO, Somalia, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- A French cameraman kidnapped eight days earlier was released Monday by his Somali captors.

The National Union of Somali Journalists said the gunmen handed French journalist Gwen Le Gouil over to two traditional elders from their clan, Abdulkadir Ahmed Ibrahim and Mohammed Said Shabel, Garowe Online reported. The elders, in turn, delivered the cameraman to Puntland Ministers Ahmed Said Ow-Nur and Abdisamad Yusuf Abwan, the news Web site reported.

Le Gouil, who does free-lance work for ARTE Television, was kidnapped by five armed men Dec. 16 in the port town of Bossasso.

"We are very pleased to see Mr. Gwen Le Gouil freed, but we appeal to Puntland authorities to protect and guarantee the safety of journalists," said Abdirisak Omar Ismail, chairperson of NUSOJ Supreme Council. "We feel that suffering is over, and all our efforts have been to bring pressure to secure his immediate release."

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