Friday, July 20, 2007

Bossi, Italian priest, released!

Kidnapped Italian priest Giancarlo Bossi was released by his captors in the southern Philippines and is now in government hands, a police official said Friday.

Bossi, who was very thin and had a very long beard, was unharmed but appeared weak and shaky after his ordeal, which lasted more than a month, said regional police head Chief Superintendent Jaime Caringal.

No ransom was paid for his release, the police official said.

News of the release of the priest, who was known to suffer from hypertension, was immediately relayed to the Italian government and it made the development public.

Bossi was released in the southern province of Lanao del Sur by Commander Kidi, a former member of the Muslim separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Caringal said.

He was then taken to a police camp in the city of Zamboanga, he added.

Police and military sources said Bossi's release was negotiated by a former MILF member who had since been elected to a local government position.

Bossi, 57, a member of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, was seized from his parish in the Zamboanga peninsula in the southern island of Mindanao on June 10.

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