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Libya Militants Free British Hostage

A British teacher who was held hostage by militants in Libya for four months has been released.

David Bolam, 53, who worked at the International School in Benghazi, was kidnapped while he was on a shopping trip in May this year, The Telegraph reported.

The teacher was flown back to the United Kingdom on Thursday night. He is “safe and well after his ordeal”, the U.K. Foreign Affairs office said, adding that the agency had been in touch with his family since he was taken.

“We are glad that David Bolam is safe and well after his ordeal, and that he has been reunited with his family,” a spokeswoman for the Foreign Affairs Office said. “We have been supporting his family since he was taken.”

However, the ministry did not disclose any details about the release and its preconditions, and rather asked for privacy in accordance to the request of Bolam’s family.

“We do not comment on the detail of hostage cases. The family have asked for privacy.”

Bolam appeared in a video published online on August 28 appealing to British Prime Minister David Cameron to secure his release, The Independent reported.  The video was believed to be released by militant group Jeish al-Islam (Army of Islam).

Ged O’Connor Challis, Bolam’s colleague in the International School, said the headteacher was “single-minded and stubborn” and had decided to stay in the country despite growing violence.

Challis told the BBC he was able to speak to Bolam on the phone the morning he was abducted, and the school later said “one of the local militias had grabbed David as he went out shopping”.

The release was thought to be secured by paying ransom by local political factions in northern Libya, but the U.K. government declined to comment as it does not support the payment of ransoms.

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