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U.S. Man in Afghanistan Freed, Wife Says

January 19, 2002|From Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — An Alabama man who said he was kidnapped by a tribal warlord in Afghanistan and held for $25,000 ransom has been released after 10 days of frequent torture, his wife said Friday.

Clark Russell Bowers' wife, Amanda, said he called Friday morning from Pakistan and told her of being tortured by his captors. She didn't say if any ransom had been paid.

"He did suffer some torture, and that has taken some of the joy," she told reporters at her home in Harvest, Ala.. "But he is in a safe location. He needs peace."

In Birmingham, Ala., FBI spokesman Craig Dahle said the agency had confirmed Bowers was in Karachi, Pakistan. "We're still trying to hook up with him," he said. "That hopefully will happen in the near future."

Bowers, 37, was on a privately arranged humanitarian mission to Afghanistan when he called his wife Jan. 9 and said he and his Afghan interpreter had been taken hostage.

According to his wife, Bowers said his flight from Istanbul to Kabul, the Afghan capital, landed safely but that he and the interpreter were abducted, blindfolded and driven for several hours.

His wife said he called again Monday and explained how the ransom for him was to be paid.

A family friend, Karen Allen, said it was uncertain when Bowers might return home. There was no information about the interpreter.

"I know you all have a lot of questions and they will be answered in good time," Amanda Bowers told the reporters. "Now's not the time."

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