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December 18, 2007

Kidnapped French journalist said to be “fine”

By Julie Tomlin GR

Reuters reports that a Somali clan elder has said he has seen French journalist Gwen Le Gouil since he was kidnapped by gunmen on Sunday and that he was in a “fine” condition.

Le Gouil was in Puntland, the semi-autonomous region of north Somalia working on a piece for the Franco-German TV network Arte Television about human trafficking of African migrants.

Puntland government officials and elders, according to the BBC on the day he was captured, said the abductors had asked for a ransom of $70,000 (£35,000).

Media groups International Federation of Journalists and Reporters Without Borders have denounced the kidnapping in a nation where eight local journalists have died this year covering a conflict between the Ethiopian-backed government and Islamist-led rebels.

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