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American Journalist Held by Serbs Returns Home

From Associated Press

U.S. journalist David Rohde returned home Friday after being held for 10 days by Bosnian Serbs in northeastern Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The Christian Science Monitor correspondent, based in Zagreb, Croatia, said he “went into Bosnian Serb territory to find further proof of mass executions around Srebrenica.”

The 28-year-old journalist was captured Oct. 29 and was released Wednesday.

During captivity, Rohde shared a cell with several other men in the Serb-held town of Bijeljina. At times, his captors told him they might hold him for 10 years, maybe even execute him.

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But pressure from his family, his editors and U.S. officials prompted his captors to release him.

“I owe these people my freedom, and I may very well owe them my life,” he said, gesturing to editors and relatives gathered around him.

Rohde’s capture became one of the key subjects at Balkan peace talks in Dayton, Ohio, where U.S. officials met with Serbian and Bosnian Serb leaders to demand his release. His family and colleagues also lobbied there on his behalf.

In Boston, Rohde said, “I apologize to my editors and my family for causing them so much pain and worry, but I felt that making the trip was the right thing to do.”

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He didn’t take questions about his captivity, saying he needed to relax and write his own chronicle first.


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