Page last updated at 09:13 GMT, Sunday, 9 November 2008

CBC reporter freed in Afghanistan

Mellisa Fung describes her ordeal in an interview with CBC News

A Canadian CBC TV journalist has been freed in Afghanistan four weeks after being kidnapped in the capital, Kabul.

Armed men seized Mellissa Fung on 12 October as she reported from a refugee camp on the outskirts of the city and took her to mountains to the west.

Ms Fung was freed after tribal elders negotiated for her release, a spokesman for Wardak's provincial governor said.

Ms Fung said in a videotaped message that she had been kept blindfolded in a cave where it was difficult to stand.

"I'm fine, really, I'm fine. I'm just happy to be here," she said.

Speaking to Canada's ambassador, she admitted: "I'm not smelling great".

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said no ransom had been paid by his government, CBC or anyone else.

But he revealed that hundreds of Canadian and Afghan officials had been involved over the past month in efforts to free her, and that he had called Afghan President Hamid Karzai to thank him.

"She sounded in remarkably good spirits under the circumstances. She said that she feels OK," Mr Harper told a news conference.

John Cruickshank, the publisher of CBC News, called Ms Fung's release "great news" and also paid tribute to the Afghan government.

Reporters for Western news outlets in Afghanistan had been aware of Ms Fung's abduction, but CBC requested that her case not be publicised while officials tried to negotiate her release.

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