Kidnapped Missionaries and Child Walk To Freedom
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) _ Six missionaries and a child abducted in Mozambique three months ago by anti-government rebels arrived here today, four days after walking to freedom in Malawi.
The group, including one American, an Australian and five Zimbabweans, smiled and hugged friends and relatives bearing flowers who greeted them on the runway as officials from the three countries looked on.
The group was shielded from journalists and gave no statement.
A Zimbabwean official, who spoke on condition of anomymity, told The Associated Press the group would not give interviews, saying only, ″Their lives may still be in danger.″ He did not elaborate.
The group appeared appeared to have survived the ordeal in good health, the official said.
Andre Picot, a spokesman for the Red Cross, told the AP his organization had negotiated with the rebel Mozambican National Resistance, also known by its Portuguese acronym RENAMO, for the group’s release. He would not elaborate.
The seven were seized at gunpoint May 13 from a 1,600-acre Christian mission near Gondola, about 80 miles from Mozambique’s western border with Zimbabwe, and marched into the surrounding bush, said Mike Oman, a spokesman for the international missionary organization youth, which operated the mission, said at the time.
RENAMO later claimed responsibility.
Among the seven, Oman said, were Kindra Bryan, 29, a nurse from Houston, who was stationed at the farm only four days prior to the abduction; Australian Roy Perkins, about 30, who ran the farm; and Perkins’ Zimbabwean wife, Patricia, also about 30.