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Saturday, 3 June, 2000, 12:17 GMT 13:17 UK
UN hostage released in Abkhazia

The United Nations in Georgia says kidnappers have released one of the five people they have been holding hostage since Thursday in the breakaway region of Abkhazia.

A UN official Veselin Koshtev said the man, Ismed Zade, an ethnic Abkhazian who works for a British mine-clearing organization, had reported that all the remaining captives two Danish military observers, a Briton from the mine-clearing organization, and an Abkhazian translator were alive and being treated well.

He also said the kidnappers planned to contact the authorities. The five were kidnapped in the mountainous Kodor Gorge where rebel factions are known to operate.

UN observers who are monitoring a ceasefire between Georgia and Abkhazia have been kidnapped before, but have been released unharmed.

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