Man Shares How He Escaped After Being Kidnapped By Somali Pirates
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A journalist has spoken about the moment he managed to escape after being kidnapped by Somali Pirates:
Colin Freeman explained how he was conducting an investigation into piracy when he was captured before going to the airport, accompanied by freelance photographer Jose Cendon.
As they were driving through the town, a truck of bodyguards 'shot in front' of the vehicle Colin was travelling in and forced him and Jose to get out at gunpoint. Leaving Colin thinking, 'oh s***, we're getting kidnapped'.
The car drove across the desert and then the group walked for a mile before stopping for a Mars bar snack - which shocked the journalist.
Speaking to UNILAD, he explained: "We had no TV, no books to read. We weren't allowed to use a paper and pencil or anything like that. There was very little way to spend the time."
Speaking about the relationship he formed with the 'disciplined' captors, Colin explained how he remembered advice to build a rapport with them.
He said: "So I remember about three or four days into the kidnapping, we hadn't really spoken to the kidnappers much at that point.
"They didn't speak any English, I didn't speak any Somali. The only language we had in common was Arabic - I speak a few words of Arabic and they spoke a few too. That was kind of how we communicated.
"One of the guys, a young guy called Faisal, he came up to us and pointed at us and said 'you, from where you?' And so I said 'I'm from Britain' and he went 'ah Britain, Britain good - David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Manchester United, Thierry Henry'.
"And I thought ah wow, you know, the international language of football, spoken even here in the mountains of Somali. It gave us all a bit of a laugh, it made you realise how strange the situation was."
He went on to speak about his escape, adding: "After six weeks in captivity, we were told by the kidnappers that we were finally going to be freed. We weren't told why we were getting freed.
"We got a phone call from London saying tomorrow morning you're going to be taken to a rendezvous point elsewhere in the mountains and you'll be met by a group of Somali clan leaders who have agreed to act as go-betweens in the situation and you'll be handed over to them.
"There was about 50 guys there, all armed to the teeth with rocket-propelled grenades, belt-fed machine guns, anti-aircraft guns mounted on the back of pick up trucks. It was a small army."
The kidnappers pointed to a path down to the bottom of the mountain and told him to walk down with his hands up towards the intermediaries.
He continued: "We got down to the bottom and we were handed over and one of these Somali elders in a suit said, 'Welcome, you are now free'."
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