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Last Updated: Friday, 6 August, 2004, 14:38 GMT 15:38 UK
Somali tells of Iraq kidnap ordeal
Ali Ahmed Musa with his captors on Al Jazeera
Mr Musa said he was treated well and given lots of food
A Somali truck driver kidnapped in Iraq has been talking about his ordeal after arriving safely back in Kuwait.

Ali Ahmed Musa, who works for a Kuwaiti haulage firm, was captured by gunmen on 24 July about 200km north of Baghdad.

He told the BBC that at one point he was taken into a makeshift court and sentenced to death but afterwards, he was well-treated by his captors.

The militant group Tawhid wa al-Jihad threatened to kill him if his employers did not stop their operations in Iraq.

Mr Musa was released after appeals from Somalia, Eritrea and Djibouti and told not to return to Iraq and to pass this warning onto other drivers.

He broadcast this message on the television station Al Jazeera to secure his release.

Blind-folded

Mr Musa, 52, had been driving his truck with supplies to the north of Iraq and was the last in a convoy of vehicles when he was captured, he told the BBC Somali Service.

He said a small car blocked his way, and he was then approached by gunmen.

At that point I thought I would die
Ali Ahmed Musa
They asked him to get out from his vehicle and blind-folded him.

He was then taken to a house in the boot of the car, he said.

On the second day of his kidnapping, he said he was moved to a makeshift courtroom in the same building where he was sentenced to death.

"There were so many people at the court... the judge was the oldest of the group and had the longest beard. At that point I thought I would die," Mr Musa said.

Collaborator

"I was kept in a room but not blind-folded at that point. The arrest was the worst part but after that I have been treated well. I was given lots of food which was the same as what they were eating."

Although a Muslim, Mr Musa was considered a collaborator and he was not allowed to pray or join his captors for meals.

Mr Musa believed the kidnappers were Iraqis and he felt that they were angry about the US occupation of Iraq as they were not supportive of the Iraqi transitional government.

His captors told him that his name had been distributed all over Iraq and if he was found in any part of the country he would be killed immediately.





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