Kidnapped Norway journalist in Afghanistan freed: officials | world | Hindustan Times
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Kidnapped Norway journalist in Afghanistan freed: officials

A Norwegian journalist and his Afghan interpreter who were kidnapped last week in eastern Afghanistan have been released, Afghan and Norwegian officials said Thursday.

world Updated: Nov 12, 2009 18:46 IST

A Norwegian journalist and his Afghan interpreter who were kidnapped last week in eastern Afghanistan have been released, Afghan and Norwegian officials said Thursday.

"The two men are now in a safe place," the Norwegian foreign ministry said in a statement.

Khalilullah Zeyaee, the police chief in Kunar province where the men were snatched, told AFP that tribal elders secured the pair's release late Wednesday.

"No ransom has been paid," Zeyaee said, adding that he personally drove the reporter to the capital Kabul where he was handed to Norwegian diplomats.

The freelance reporter, who was working for a Norwegian television production company, was kidnapped with his interpreter on November 4 near the Pakistan border.

Norway's government had asked media outlets to refrain from reporting on the incident for security reasons.

The ministry's statement made no mention of a ransom being paid, nor were the identities of the two men or their captors disclosed.

Announcement of the release came a day after Norway's Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere held talks with President Hamid Karzai during a surprise visit to Afghanistan.