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Journalist Riaz Mengal escapes from his kidnappers

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders has greeted with relief the news that Riaz Mengal, a reporter with the newspaper "Intikhab", succeeded in escaping from kidnappers who abducted him on 4 October 2007 in the Khuzdar district of Baluchistan province.

The journalist told a press conference in Quetta on 26 November, a day after his escape from his captors, that his "kidnapping was linked to articles about trafficking of vehicles by gangsters."

He told the BBC that Atta-ur-Rehman Mengal, the son of former minister Sardar Naseer Mengal, was implicated in his abduction "because he was part of this illegal trade," which he had demonstrated in his investigations.

"Police seized a number of vehicles of the same type after my article appeared and then must have given them back under pressure from the minister's son," added the journalist, who was frail from his weeks in captivity.

Mengal said he had been abducted in one of the vehicles which had been seized and then returned. He said he was beaten during his first day in captivity and he had then been repeatedly moved from one place to another. He had made his escape while being held in Noshaki, in a mountainous region.

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