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Home News Kidnapped Spanish photographer is set free

Kidnapped Spanish photographer is set free

Published on 24/10/2006

25 October 2006

GAZA — A Spanish photographer kidnapped by an unknown group in the Gaza Strip is set free, his agency said on Wednesday.

Emilio Morenatti, 37, who works for the Associated Press news agency, was kidnapped by a four armed men as he got into his car in Gaza City on Tuesday.

But after being held for 16 hours, he was released.

He said he was well but wanted to relax after his ordeal.

His news agency said the kidnapping happened at about 6am on Tuesday.

Morenatti, from Jerez de la Frontera, in Andalucia, was about to go to work with his driver Mayed Hamdan.

Hamdan, who was waiting for him in the car, said the armed men put a gun to his head and pushed him into a white Volkswagen before driving off at speed.

No group claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

Miguel Ángel Moratinos, Spanish foreign minister, was said to be personally involved in diplomatic efforts to free Morenatti.

Two diplomats from the Spanish consulate in Jerusalem were sent to Gaza to try to help free the photographer.

Ghazi Hamad, spokesman for the Palestinian government, condemned the kidnapping.

Mahmud Abbas, Palestinian president, was said to be “following events” while the kidnapper was seized.

Tom Curley, president of AP in New York, said the agency was “very relieved” at the outcome.

Morenatti has worked for two years covering the Palestinian–Israeli conflict and had also worked in Afghanistan.

His brother, Miguel Ángel Morenatti, said his family was “overjoyed” at his brother’s safe release.

The kidnapping of foreigners and journalists has become more frequent in the Gaza Strip.

In August, two journalists from Fox News, the American television channel, were kidnapped and released two weeks later.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news