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Italy hostage released in Kabul


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#1    Talon

Talon

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Posted 10 June 2005 - 02:48 AM

Italy hostage released in Kabul
Italian aid worker Clementina Cantoni has been freed nearly a month after being taken hostage in Afghanistan, the Afghan interior ministry has said.
"She is fine," said a ministry spokesman. Interior Minister Ali Ahmad Jalali said later that no concessions had been made to the kidnappers.

Ms Cantoni, who works for Care International, was abducted by gunmen who forced her out of her car.

She has been in Afghanistan since September 2003.

She was in charge of a programme supporting more than 10,000 widows and their children.

Widows helped by her project staged demonstrations in the capital calling for her release.


And earlier on Thursday, hundreds of schoolgirls in the Afghan capital, Kabul, handed out nearly 3,000 stickers calling for Ms Cantoni to be freed.

Relief

Ms Cantoni was abducted in central Kabul on 16 May.

Announcing her release, an interior ministry spokesman said he was "happy to say that Clementina is well".

"She is in good health given the 24 day ordeal she went through," Lutfulla Mashal told reporters.


He said the aid worker had spoken to her mother on the phone.

In his flat in Milan, Ms Cantoni's father appeared on the balcony to say: "My daughter, I greet you", Italian news agency Ansa reported.

And in Luxembourg Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini said it was an "enormous relief".

Afghan officials had said a criminal gang was responsible rather than Islamic militants.

In a hastily arranged news conference, Minister Jalali said Ms Cantoni's release was "a result of the hard work of the police and the nation".

"The policy of the Afghan government is not to deal with the hostage-takers. We did not pay any ransom," he said.

The Afghan government had criticised the Italian embassy in Kabul for trying to negotiate Ms Cantoni's release with her kidnappers.


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/worl...sia/4078608.stm


"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something." -Plato

#2    Talon

Talon

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Posted 10 June 2005 - 12:26 PM

Freed Italian flies out of Kabul
Italian aid worker Clementina Cantoni has flown out of the Afghan capital Kabul for home after nearly a month of being held hostage.
The Afghan government says 32-year-old Ms Cantoni is well despite her 24 days detention at the hands of kidnappers described as "a criminal gang".

Interior Minister Ali Ahmad Jalali has said that no concessions had been made to the kidnappers.

The abduction of Ms Cantoni increased fears over security in Kabul.

Heading for Rome

Ms Cantoni flew out of Kabul on an Italian jet at 1245 local time (0815 GMT) airport officials say, accompanied by members of her family.


"They took off for Rome," airport director Mohammad Qasim Jarar told the AFP news agency.

Ms Cantoni has been in Afghanistan since September 2003 working for the aid agency Care International.

She was in charge of a programme supporting more than 10,000 widows and their children.

Widows helped by her project had staged repeated demonstrations in the capital calling for her release.

President Hamid Karzai has welcomed the release.

"The president recognises that the outpouring of support for Clementina among Afghans, Italians and people in the rest of the world has played a role in securing her freedom," a statement from the president's office said.

Security forces on Friday continued their search for the kidnappers. Ms Cantoni was abducted by gunmen in Kabul on 16 May who forced her out of her car.


Relief


Announcing her release late on Thursday, an interior ministry spokesman said he was "happy to say that Clementina is well".


"She is in good health given the 24 day ordeal she went through," Lutfulla Mashal told reporters.


He said the aid worker had spoken to her mother on the phone.

Shortly after that announcement, Ms Cantoni's father appeared on the balcony of his Milan flat to say: "My daughter, I greet you", Italian news agency Ansa reported. And in Luxembourg Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini said it was an "enormous relief".

Afghan officials had said a criminal gang was responsible rather than Islamic militants.

In a hastily arranged news conference, Minister Jalali said Ms Cantoni's release was "a result of the hard work of the police and the nation".

"The policy of the Afghan government is not to deal with the hostage-takers. We did not pay any ransom," he said.

The Afghan government had criticised the Italian embassy in Kabul for trying to negotiate Ms Cantoni's release with her kidnappers.


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/worl...sia/4079852.stm


"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something." -Plato




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