Norway: Kidnapped journalist freed in Afghanistan

Norway Kidnapped journa

A Norwegian freelance journalist kidnapped a week ago in eastern Afghanistan has been released along with his Afghan interpreter, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday. Journalist Paal Refsdal and an unnamed interpreter were freed Wednesday night after being abducted Nov. 5 near the border with Pakistan, Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said. It is still unclear who abducted Refsdal and demanded $500,000 for his release, Stoere told journalists Thursday evening, adding that to his knowledge the demand was never met "Norwegian authorities did not exchange money for the hostages," he said. Stoere said Norwegian authorities had "worked intensely to free the two hostages" since learning Friday of their abduction, but he would not specify how the release was secured except to say it had been in a "nonviolent" fashion based "an Afghan solution" reached through unidentified "Afghan contacts."