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Freed Italian Journalist Will Not return to Afghanistan

The Italian journalist who was kidnapped in Afghanistan two weeks ago said on his return to Rome that he has no plans to return to Afghanistan. Sabina Castelfranco reports for VOA from Rome.

Italian journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo told reporters his hands and feet were chained during his captivity. Speaking to reporters at the offices of his newspaper, La Repubblica, he said he was moved constantly and slept in 15 different caves.

On the pages of his newspaper he has described his fear of death and the dreadful moments he witnessed when he saw his captors cut off the head of his Afghan driver.

At his news conference, Mastrogiacomo said he does not think he will return to Afghanistan. He said he is not a star, and he will return to being a journalist.

He said that when he went to Afghanistan's southern Helmand province where he was kidnapped, he had not been looking for a scoop at all costs. He said he did not expect anything to happen.

The Taleban militants who abducted Mastrogiacomo initially accused him of being a spy for British forces. The journalist denied ever admitting to being a spy.

Earlier, Italy's deputy affairs minister, Ugo Intini, briefed the Senate on the kidnapping. He confirmed that the Afghan government freed five members of the Taleban who were detained in Kabul prisons.

Mastrogiacomo said, what was done to obtain his release did not violate the sovereignty of Afghanistan and its autonomy in choices of foreign policy.

What was done, he said, "was to safeguard a human life, and I think this is positive."

Mastrogiacomo said that during his captivity he was completely cut off from the world.

He said he had no idea of the kind of solidarity back home, but was convinced that something was happening outside, and this comforted him at times of great difficulty, which he had to overcome both physically and psychologically.