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Freed Canadian reporter: I was kept in cave

  • Story Highlights
  • Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Mellissa Fung was kidnapped October 12
  • She was visiting Kabul-area camp when armed men abducted her, CBC reports
  • She will undergo medical evaluation before she is reunited with her family
  • For safety reasons, the CBC did not publish news of her abduction
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KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- A Canadian journalist, who was freed Saturday after a month in captivity, said her abductors kept her in an underground cave but didn't mistreat her.

Melissa Fung, a correspondent with the Canadian Broadcast Corp., said her captors guarded her at all times for the first three weeks.

In the last week, the kidnappers bound her hands and feet and left her.

The correspondent had been in Afghanistan for about a month when she was kidnapped on October 12 as she left a U.N. refugee camp on the outskirts of Kabul.

She was eventually rescued in an operation by the Afghan intelligence agency Saturday, spokesman Sayeed Ansari said. Video Watch as journalist describes her ordeal »

Authorities arrested three people in connection with the kidnapping and were looking for three others, Ansari said Sunday.

Both he, CBC officials and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said no ransom was paid to secure Fung's release.

In a videotaped interview with an Afghan intelligence official after her release, Fung said her abductors kept her in an underground room that was accessed through a small tunnel.

"They dug a small hole ... and then there was a little tunnel that went into the cave," she told the intelligence agent, and later drew him a sketch.

Fung said she could barely stand in the cave.

"They kept me blindfolded (but) not the whole time," she said.

Asked if she had been mistreated, Fung said the kidnappers "never hurt me."

John Cruickshank, CBC's news publisher, said it would be "unwise to even to speculate" as to the kidnappers' identity.

Fung said the man who guarded her went by the name "Khaled."

"I don't think it's his real name," she said. "His friends called him 'Hezbollah.'"

A radical Shia group based out of Lebanon, Hezbollah is considered a terrorist organization by the United States. It has claimed responsibility for a host of terrorist acts, including car bombs, roadside bombs, rockets, booby-traps and suicide attacks.

Later in the videotape, a Canadian official greeted Fung with a hug. "I'm not smelling great," she told him.

She also told him she hoped people won't make "a big fuss" about her situation.

Fung is expected to be flown soon to a location in the Middle East before she returns to Canada.

CBC had asked media networks not to report on Fung's kidnapping for fear of her safety.


"In the interest of Mellissa's safety and that of other working journalists in the region, on the advice of security experts, we made the decision to ask media colleagues not to publish news of her abduction," CBC's Cruickshank said in a written statement.

CNN abided by the request.

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