A West German relief worker kidnapped May 4 has been released unharmed in southern Lebanon and driven to his office accompanied by Shiite Amal militia chief Nabih Berri.
Markus Quint, 24, and Berri arrived shortly after 4 p.m. Sunday in a heavily guarded motorcade at the headquarters of the relief organization Asme Hamanitas in the Shiite-controlled Zahrani region south of the port city of Sidon.His release came two days after a retired British airline pilot was reported missing and feared kidnapped in Beirut.
Quint's appearance with the Amal chief surprised about 30 reporters who Berri had invited to the building earlier for a news conference, presumably to discuss security matters.
Startled colleagues, some weeping, greeted Quint with hugs and kisses as he entered the first floor of the building.
"I thank Mr. Berri for granting me this happy opportunity to get out of the cage," Quint told reporters moments after his arrival. "I was treated well. The captors gave me no messages."
Quint, clean-shaven and dressed in a T-shirt and jeans, appeared tired and nervous.
Asked to elaborate on the circumstances of his abduction, Quint replied, "Excuse me, I'm so tired."
Berri added, "No ransom was paid to release Markus . . . he was set free without conditions."
The pro-Syrian militia leader said Quint's release was the result of intensive, indirect contacts with the kidnappers, whom he declined to identify. "I did not meet the captors," he said.