Captors free CNN producer in Gaza City as Israeli troops kill mentally retarded Palestinian in Jenin
Captors in Gaza Strip freed a CNN producer Tuesday afternoon. About 24 hours earlier, a group of men armed with assault rifles and revolvers kidnapped the man in Gaza City, CNN and witnesses said.
The abductors blocked a taxi carrying several members of the CNN staff in the center of the city and ordered Arab Israeli producer Riad Ali out of the car at gunpoint, CNN correspondent Ben Wedeman told the station.
"Out of the car got a man who pulled a revolver out of his pants, stuck it in the window of our car and said, which one of you is Riad Ali."
He said the abduction appeared to have been planned, adding that the men were armed with AK-47 assault rifles and revolvers.
CNN was making contact with Palestinian security organisations and factions to try to secure the man's release, he said, adding that there was no indication why Ali had been targeted. In the past, Ali worked for Israel's public TV.
Meanwhile, Israeli public television said Israel had formally demanded his immediate release, while journalists' organisations expressed concern about the abduction and urged his captors to let him go.
Hamas' Gaza spokesman, Mushir al-Masri, categorically denied the group had any hand in the CNN employee's abduction.
Elsewhere, a mentally retarded Palestinian youth was killed Tuesday in the Jenin refugee camp after Israeli troops positioned on rooftops of civilian houses fired several bullets at him, local sources reported.
They said that the soldiers deliberately shot at the young man identified as Saleh Balawna causing his instant martyrdom. A second Palestinian was later shot dead by Israeli troops in Jenin refugee camp. (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)