Afghans free Canadian journalist

Abducted reporter released after being held in a small cave for nearly one month.

    Fung was kidnapped by armed Afghanis on October 12 at a UN refugee camp on the outskirts of Kabul [AFP]

    Fung was handed over to Afghan National Directorate of Security officials near Maydan Shah, the provincial capital of Wardak, about 50km southwest of Kabul.

    'Remarkably good spirits'

    Stephen Harper, Canada's prime minister, said on Saturday that she "was released around noon Toronto time [17:00GMT] and is now safe within the Canadian embassy in Kabul".

    "She sounded in remarkably good spirits under the circumstances," he said.

     

    Fung's abduction was kept a secret by her employer due to concerns for her safety. CBC said it suspected the kidnappers were criminals rather than members of the Taliban.

     

    Harper said that no ransom had been paid to secure Fung's freedom.

    "It's the government's policy not to pay ransoms and all policies were fully respected," he said.

    Adam Khan Serat, the spokesman for the provincial governor in Wardak, said that she was released after efforts by tribal leaders and provincial council members.

    Afghan officials said that three men had been arrested over the abduction.

    Afghan dangers

    Fung had been on assignment in the southern city of Kandahar, where Canada has at least 2,700 troops on a military mission due to end in 2011.

    Afghanistan, one of the most dangerous nations in the world for reporters, has seen a rise in assassinations and kidnappings of foreigners.

    She was the second kidnapped female Western journalist in Afghanistan to be released in as many days.

    A Dutch journalist abducted by suspected Taliban fighters in Afghanistan a week ago had also been freed on Friday and is in good health, according to her employer, Belgian P-magazine.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.