DAILY CATHOLIC    WEDNESDAY     October 20, 1999     vol. 10, no. 200

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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SIERRA LEONE BISHOP, AID WORKERS FREED BY CAPTORS

        FREETOWN (CWNews.com) - An Italian-born bishop serving a diocese in Sierra Leone was released on Tuesday, along with 15 aid workers, all of whom were kidnapped last Friday by rebels, according to Church officials in Freetown.

        Bishop Giorgio Biguzzi of Makeni was part of a group including an Italian priest, a Sierra Leonean priest, and local and international aid workers from the Caritas Catholic aid group. "The bishop and the 15 others were kidnapped at Makeni during an exchange of fire between the AFRC (renegade soldiers) and RUF (Revolutionary United Front rebels)," said Father Antonio Guiotto, of the local Xaverian Brothers mission. "All of them, including the bishop, are well and fine and will be airlifted to Freetown today."

        Both RUF leader Foday Sankoh and former AFRC junta ruler Johnny Paul Koroma denied that their men carried out the kidnapping. The Vatican-based MISNA missionary news service said on Monday that Bishop Biguzzi, 63, was believed to have been kidnapped by AFRC fighters.

        Koroma later contacted the agency to deny responsibility for the abduction, saying his men had, on the contrary, rescued the bishop. An aide to Koroma repeated on Tuesday that the group "were protected (by the AFRC) during the crossfire between us and the RUF before we allowed them to go to Bumbuna town."


Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

October 20, 1999       volume 10, no. 200
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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