Canadian ex-hostage calls Nigerian captors 'kind'

MONTREAL - A Canadian woman freed last week after being kidnapped in Nigeria described her abductors Sunday as "mostly kind at heart," and said she was well-treated during nearly two weeks of captivity.
Looking none the worse for wear after 13 days as a hostage, Julie Ann Mulligan, 45, told reporters that her captors seemed motivated by a need to earn money to improve their desperate economic plight.
"The kidnappers were mostly kind at heart," she said.

Canadian ex-hostage calls Nigerian captors 'kind'
"The job ... was a business of money that there desperately isn't enough of for most of the people in Nigeria," Mulligan said.
"They did not hurt me physically and they did not torment me unnecessarily or psychologically," Mulligan said.
She added: "I did live the hard life of many typical Nigerians, though, for 13 days. And believe me, it's not an easy one."
Mulligan was kidnapped on April 16 while participating in a cultural exchange in northern Kaduna. Shortly after her abduction, Nigerian police indicated that her kidnappers had demanded 136,000 dollars in ransom.
Seven people have been arrested by authorities.
Mulligan, who was released on Wednesday, was effusive in her praise of the people of northern Nigeria where she was kidnapped.
"They're as warm and hospitable as you could ever imagine. Living in the most populated country in Africa, they are kind and generous in spirit," she said.
"When I found out that there was a candlelight vigil for me attended by over one thousand people, I was stunned."
She noted with regret that other captives -- including fellow Canadian Amanda Lindhout, who was snatched in Somalia last August with Australian photograper Nigel Geoffrey Brennan -- continue to be held by their kidnappers.
"I thank God that I'm the lucky one," she said.

Monday, May 4th 2009

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