Monday, September 1, 2008

Nigeria - Israeli Hostage Freed by Kidnappers

Nigeria - Israeli businessman Ehud Avni was released by the militant kidnappers who held the construction project manager hostage in Nigeria for nearly a week after four operatives pulled him out of his car at gunpoint in front of his home in the city of Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State in the country’s southern Delta region.
The incident occurred after Avni returned home from an event at the home of Governor Rotimi Amaeci, held in honor of Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, Moshe Ram.
Avni’s driver was removed from the car by the kidnappers; he was subsequently arrested in connection with the incident.
Avni, a diabetic, was released without his captors having collected any of the ransom they demanded. Media reports said a $12 million price tag had been placed on the 60-year-old Israeli’s freedom. Avni is reported to be in good condition and is expected to arrive in Ra’anana on Thursday.
Much of the credit for the hostage’s release went to his employers at Gilmor Engineering Limited, who conducted the negotiations for his freedom privately, directly with his kidnappers. His bosses did the actual negotiating directly with the kidnappers.
His wife Tzipi said that her husband called after his release and confirmed that he was in good health. She also said she expects her husband, who has spent 30 years working in the West African nation, to return to the country to continue working.

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