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Radio Report: Dutch Hostages Held for 24 Days Freed,

September 18, 1996

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) _ A Dutch couple kidnapped more than three weeks ago in northern Costa Rica were freed Tuesday, radio reports said.

The reports quoted Manuel Alvarado, head of the Organization of Judicial Investigation, the Costa Rican equivalent of the FBI.

Huite Zijlstra and his wife, Jitty Koers, both 50, were taken from the Altamira de Aguas Zarcas ranch in the San Carlos district near the Nicaraguan border. The group behind the Aug. 24 abduction calls itself the Maria Felix Commando, and has demanded $1.5 million in ransom.

It was not immediately known if any ransom was paid or what condition the hostages were in.

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