Two journalists for the U.S. television network Fox News, who were kidnapped by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip nearly two weeks ago, have been released.
American correspondent Steve Centanni and New Zealand-born cameraman Olaf Wiig were freed midday today and taken to a Gaza City hotel. There, they met with Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and said they hope their ordeal does not discourage journalists from coming to Gaza.
Earlier, Centanni told Fox News they had been treated roughly by their captors and were hid in a garage in Gaza with their hands tied behind their backs.
He said he and Wiig were forced at gunpoint to make statements, including that they had converted to Islam.
Hours before the release, the kidnappers sent out a video of the two journalists criticizing Israeli policies in Gaza and saying they had converted to Islam.
The two journalists were seized August 14th in Gaza City. The kidnappers called themselves the Holy Jihad Brigades, a previously unknown group. The group had demanded that the United States release Muslim prisoners by Saturday.
Palestinian officials condemned the kidnapping. Prime Minister Haniyeh, who is from the militant group Hamas, said the kidnappers had no ties to al-Qaida.
Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.