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Gunmen in Balata refugee camp (Archive) Photo: AFP
Gunmen in Balata refugee camp (Archive) Photo: AFP

3 American women kidnapped in PA freed

Three American women kidnapped while taking pictures near Nablus freed by captor. Women were taken hostage by Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine member who demanded job, medical treatment in return for their release

Ali Waked
Latest Update: 02.20.07, 19:46 / Israel News

The three American women who were kidnapped in the West Bank by a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine were freed around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday evening.


The women, apparently human rights activists, were taken hostage while taking pictures on the outskirts of the Balata refugee camp near Nablus, Palestinian security officials said.


The PA officials identified the kidnapper as Hadi Saud, a long-time PFLP member. They said the kidnapper demanded a job in the Palestinian security forces and treatment for a shooting injury sustained last year in exchange for releasing the hostages.


Micaela Schweitzer-Bluhm, a spokeswoman for the US consulate in Jerusalem, said US officials had been informed of the kidnappings.


"We take them extremely seriously," Schweitzer-Bluhm said of the incident.


She said American officials were in touch with Palestinian security. She had no details on the identities of the women or what they were doing in the West Bank.


In the past, scores of foreigners were kidnapped by various Palestinian terrorist groups but were usually released unharmed after a few hours.


The Associated Press contributed to the report


First Published: 02.20.07, 18:59


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