Abducted American Missionary, Rev. Phyllis Sortor Freed

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By Chris Nomjov

Christian missionary and American citizen, Rev. Phyllis Sortor, who was kidnapped last month by masked gunmen in Kogi State, has been freed, a U.S. official confirmed, in the late hours of Friday.

Officials refused to provide details of her release, but said it involved some form of negotiations, even though sources failed to state if the 60 million naira ransom demanded was given to the kidnappers.

Five men abducted Sortor, a missionary from Seattle with the Free Methodist Church, from her workplace February 23 and demanded a ransom of 60 million Naira ($301,500), Kogi state police Commissioner Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi said.

Sortor runs a nongovernmental organization that educates nomadic Fulani children, the police commissioner said.

Kogi state is located away from the areas where Boko Haram operates, making it likely that the kidnapping is not related to them. But there is the possibility that an offshoot group could have kidnapped Sortor, or that she might be sold to another group.

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