GAZA, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Two Fox News journalists released after 12 days as prisoners of Palestinian militants in Gaza were forced by their captors to convert to Islam.
A video tape showing Steve Centanni, from the United States, and Olaf Wiig, of New Zealand, being forced to convert at gunpoint was released just hours before the men were let go, The Times of London reported Monday. The men had been deployed to report on Israel's incursions into Gaza.
"It was something we felt we had to do because they had the guns and we didn't know what the hell was going on," Centanni said.
Centanni, who was captured along with Wiig Aug. 14 while they were preparing to leave Gaza for Jerusalem, said the captors had told the journalists they were kidnapped on behalf of al-Qaida head Osama bin Laden and dead Iraq terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya said the kidnappers were from a local faction and not connected to al-Qaida or any other foreign militant organizations, The Independent reported.
The Popular Resistance Committees, an association of fighters, announced it had mediated the release.