Jungle hostage reunited with UK family

Matthew Scott’s family could not hide their joy at the sight of the 19-year-old emerging from the Bogata flight into London's Heathrow Airport.

    Troops patrolling the area where the remaining hostages are thought to be held

    The British student who had escaped his kidnappers in Colombia and then survived 12 gruelling days in the jungle looked remarkably calm after his ordeal.

    He escaped his captors - suspected members of Colombian guerrilla group the National Liberation Army (ELN), who are thought to be still holding seven other foreigners – and was found on Tuesday by Kogui Indians.

    “We jumped up and down (at the news of his escape) and then we opened some champagne,” Scott's father James Scott, a surgeon in the British capital, told AFP.

    “I still could not believe it. It is sort of a miracle. 
      
    “It is an amazing thing - a man you have thought might be dead suddenly speaking to you just like that,” he added. 

    Remaining hostages
      
    Colombian army commander General Carlos Ospina said Thursday that 1200 troops were searching the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, a mountain jungle region in the north of the country, for the remaining captives.

    "We jumped up and down (at the news of his escape) and then we opened some champagne"

     

    Surgeon and father James Scott


      
    Guerrillas seized the tourists on 12 September as the ambled over the 3500-year-old ruins of Colombia's Lost City, some 950 kilometers (590 miles) north of Bogota in a zone regarded as lawless.
      
    Briton Mark Henderson, German Reinhilt Weigel, Spaniard Asier Huegun and four Israelis: Beni Daniel, Ortaz Ohayon, Ido Joseph Guy and Erez Altawil remain in captivity.

    "We're making some changes, modifications" in the search, Ospina said referring to information gleaned whilst debriefing Scott.

    Cali
      
    Scott arrived in Colombia in May, teaching English to people in the northern city of Cali. He recounted his harsh 12-day odyssey which he survived without food, drinking only river water.
      
    “When I found these people they gave me a soup made with beans and a little salt and three oranges,” Scott reportedly said, referring to the Indian tribe.. “Those were the only things I have eaten in the past 12 days.”

    SOURCE: AFP


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