Reporter held in Somalia free after 2 years
24 September 2014, 07:56
Berlin - A German-American journalist and writer, Michael Scott Moore, who was abducted in Somalia two and a half years ago, is free, the German foreign ministry said on Tuesday.
A ministry spokesperson confirmed "that a German citizen, who also has US citizenship and who was abducted in Somalia, went free today".
She declined to provide further details, notably whether he was freed by his captors, escaped, or was liberated by force.
News website Spiegel Online quoted unnamed security officials as saying that Moore was in good shape given the circumstances and "thrilled to be free".
The 45-year-old, who had worked for Spiegel Online in Berlin years before he travelled to Somalia to work on a book on piracy, was met by German officials, according to the report.
Moore, who was kidnapped in lawless Somalia in January 2012, arrived in Mogadishu in a small plane and was being taken to a "safe place" where he will receive a medical examination and counselling, Spiegel said.
In the years since his kidnapping, Moore's captors frequently posted pictures of him on the Internet.
German and US officials had negotiated for the past two and a half years for his release.
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Spiegel quoted its chief editor Wolfgang Buechner thanking all who contributed to his release.
"We never gave up hope and are overjoyed, together with Michael and his mother Marlies, that this nightmare is finally over," he said.
An environmental and rights group based in Nairobi monitoring regional maritime activity, Ecoterra International, said in January 2012 that a Somali pirate gang snatched Moore on the road to Galkayo airport and drove him to a remote jungle.