JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Twenty-seven British, American, Filipino and Portuguese civilians arrived in Johannesburg on Saturday on a Red Cross transport plane after being freed by Angolan rebels.
Officials said the men--2 Americans, 17 Filipinos, 3 Britons, and 5 Portuguese--would be examined by doctors before being sent home.
They were captured Dec. 29 when guerrillas of Jonas Savimbi's National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, or UNITA, overran a mining town in northeastern Angola. The captives were marched hundreds of miles to Jamba, the UNITA headquarters in southeastern Angola, where they were released last week.
"It feels awful good to be free," said Alan Bongard, 56, of Pleasanton, Calif., who looked tired but happy as he was hugged by his wife, Faye.
The freeing of the 22 from Britain, the United States and the Philippines was expected, but that of the five from Portugal was not. They also arrived on the South African transport plane chartered by the International Committee of the Red Cross.