Somalia - Kidnappers holding two foreign journalists release their Somali fixer

    MONTREAL, Jan. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders welcomes
yesterday's release of kidnapped Somali journalist Abdifatah Mohamed Elmi and
voices renewed concern for the two foreign journalists - Canadian reporter
Amanda Lindhout and Australian photographer Nigel Brennan - who were abducted
with him on 23 August and are still being held.
    "The Somali journalist's release is obviously good news, but we will feel
no relief until the kidnappers have also released the two foreign
journalists," Reporters Without Borders said. "Our concern about their fate is
as strong as ever given the growing instability in Mogadishu. All the actors
involved should combine their efforts in order to obtain their release as soon
as possible."
    Elmi, who was working as fixer and interpreter for Lindhout and Brennan,
was released last night together with the two drivers who were with them the
day they were kidnapped, Mahad Isse and "Marwali". Elmi, who is in good
health, was let go near Mogadishu's Bakara market.
    He told the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), the Reporters
Without Borders partner organisation in Somalia, that he was separated from
the two foreign journalists after they were captured and that he had no idea
where they are now being held.
    The three journalists and their two drivers were ambushed and captured as
they were returning to Mogadishu from the Afgooye refugee camp, located some
20 km southwest of the capital. Lindhout and Brennan had arrived in Somalia
three days earlier. They have now been held hostage for 177 days.

For further information:

For further information: Katherine Borlongan, Executive Director,
Reporters Without Borders Canada, (514) 521-4111,

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