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Archive for Sunday, December 4, 2005

Gunmen release kidnapped journalist

December 4, 2005

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— Gunmen who kidnapped a Haitian journalist and his father released them Saturday after fellow reporters paid their ransom.

Wadson Desir, a journalist for radio Metropole and a contributor to Radio France Internationale, was kidnapped Friday - the day an American missionary was released amid a wave of abductions in Haiti ahead of next month's national elections.

"I'm all right now. It was more fright than harm," Desir, 27, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview about an hour after his release.

Joseph Guyler Delva, who leads the Haitian association SOS Journalistes, said fellow journalists pooled money for the $4,500 ransom.

Desir and his father were kidnapped in an area bordering the highly volatile slum of Cite Soleil, a base for gangs blamed for much of the violence in the capital and the scene of several recent kidnappings - including those of the U.S. missionary and 14 schoolchildren released earlier this week.

Desir said he and his father were abducted within eyesight of a unit of U.N. peacekeepers, who did not intervene.

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