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Sierra Leone beauty contestant kidnapped

15 December 2010, 20:12

Freetown - Sierra Leone police said on Wednesday they have detained 11 students from the northern city of Makeni over the alleged kidnapping of a female student to prevent her competing in a beauty pageant.

Investigating officer Inspector Theophilius Koroma told reporters that the victim, Ebirunke Garber was a contestant in the Northern Polytechnic's beauty pageant but was abducted by an "unidentified group of people" a few hours before the competition was held over the weekend.

"The eleven being held included the student union president whose name is being withheld while the investigation is ongoing," the officer said.

The victim, who was later freed, recounted her ordeal to local reporters saying: "I was grabbed as I left the hall (where the event was held), bundled onto a motorcycle and taken to a deserted area with my eyes blindfolded and arms securely tied."

"I was struck repeatedly and kicked by the unknown assailants," she said adding that "prior to the contest, I was sent dozens of threatening text messages warning me to distance myself from the competition".

She said she was left abandoned "in a lonely spot before I was rescued by a passing motorcyclist and taken to hospital".



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