WORLD : Freed Hostage Returns Home

From Times Wire Services

Freed Swiss hostage Elio Erriquez arrived home today to an emotional welcome from his family and friends after 10 months of captivity in Lebanon.

Several hundred people lining a balcony at Geneva airport burst into cheers and applause as Erriquez, 24, pale but smiling, walked slowly down the gangway of a special plane into the embraces of his mother and other family members.

Emanuel Christen, 33, a fellow Red Cross worker seized along with Erriquez but released five days earlier, accompanied him on the homeward flight and followed him off the plane. He had previously returned to Switzerland.

A Beirut newspaper, meanwhile, said today that four Belgian hostages held by a radical Libyan-backed Palestinian group would be freed in the next 24 hours in return for a guerrilla in a Belgian prison.

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