Two Fox News journalists, who were held by Palestinian militants for nearly two weeks, were released by their abductors Sunday. Correspondent Steve Centanni, 60, and cameraman Olaf Wiig, 36, were dropped off at Gaza City's Beach Hotel by Palestinian security officials.After his release, Centanni told Fox News that during his capture, he was at times held face down in a dark garage, bound in painful positions, and that he and Wiig were forced at gunpoint to make statements, including that they had converted to Islam.
"I'm a little emotional because this is overwhelming, but I'm fine," Centanni said. "I'm so happy to be freed."
On Sunday, before the journalists were freed, a new video was released, showing Wiig and Centanni dressed in beige robes. In the video, both made anti-Western remarks. The kidnappers claimed both men had converted to Islam.
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The two journalists were seized August 14 in Gaza City by a previously unknown group called the Holy Jihad Brigades. Senior Palestinian security officials said Sunday the name used by the group was a front for local militants, and that authorities had known the identity of the kidnappers all along.
Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh dismissed speculation that the kidnappers had ties to foreign groups. "The kidnappers have no link to al-Qaida or any other organization or faction," Haniyeh said. "Al-Qaida as an organization does not exist in the Gaza Strip."
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