Archive for Saturday, February 11, 2006

Kidnapped Egyptian diplomat released

February 11, 2006

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An Egyptian diplomat abducted at gunpoint in the Gaza Strip was released early today, officials said, a day after a previously unknown Palestinian group claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

Egyptian officials said Hussam Almousaly was unharmed and back at his home in Gaza City. Palestinian officials confirmed the release.

The group that claimed responsibility for the kidnapping - calling itself the Al Ahrar Brigades, whose name means "the liberated people" in Arabic - had demanded the release of Palestinian criminals held in Egyptian jails. Major militant groups in Gaza, including those who have carried out other kidnappings in recent months, had condemned Thursday's abduction.

The Egyptian officials would not say how the release took place or whether the kidnappers' conditions had been met. The officials could not be identified because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

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