Captors free Somali journalist but no word on Canadian colleague

A Somali journalist captured along with a Canadian freelance journalist last summer has been freed, a local group says.

A Somali journalist captured along with a Canadian freelance journalist last summer has been freed, a local group says.

Amanda Lindhout, a freelance journalist and native of Red Deer, Alta., is shown in this undated photo. ((Red Deer Advocate/Canadian Press))
The National Union of Somali Journalists posted a notice on its website heralding the release of Abdifatah Mohamed Elmi and two drivers on Thursday night after 146 days in captivity.

There's no word on Amanda Lindhout, a 27-year-old freelancer from Red Deer, Alta., and Nigel Brennan, a 37-year-old freelance Australian photojournalist, who were abducted alongside Elmi near Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Aug. 23.

The group said Abdifatah told them that he was separated from Lindhout and Brennan soon after the kidnapping.

"We are very pleased that our colleague Abdifatah Mohamed Elmi was released unhurt and in good health but … we remain tremendously concerned over the destiny of our colleagues Amanda Lindout and Nigel Brennan," said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General.

Lindhout was reportedly abducted en route to a refugee camp outside of Mogadishu. She was in the Eastern African nation doing a story on war refugees.

Lindhout is usually based in Baghdad and reports from war zones in Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan. She arrived in Somalia on Aug. 20 to work for the French TV station France 24.

In September, a video emerged showing Lindhout and Brennan surrounded by their captors at an unidentified location. No audio was playing, but Al-Jazeera reported the two were appealing to their respective governments to work toward their release.

The kidnappers went by the name "Mujahideen of Somalia" and blamed Canada and Australia for "taking part in the destruction of Somalia," Al-Jazeera reported.

The kidnappers have demanded $2.5 million US for their release.

Somalia has been without an effective central government since 1991, when the former dictator Siad Barre was overthrown by warlords.