Freed Chinese engineer tells of Pak Taliban ordeal

February 17th, 2009 - 6:11 pm ICT by ANI  


New Delhi, Feb 17 (ANI): Chinese engineer freed from Pakistan Tgaliban captivity has recalled his nearly six-month ordeal, saying that he lived in constant fear and despair, and was prepared to commit suicide at any moment.

Long Xiaowei, who was kidnapped along with his colleague Zhang Guo last August in the Dir region of northwest Pakistan, was freed Saturday and taken to the Chinese embassy early Sunday morning, where he told his tale.

I never took a shower, nor did I change clothes there, 28-year-old Long said. I lived on coarse food made of corn flour and alike, the China Daily quoted Long, as saying.

I had been living in constant fear and despair every day, so I put a knife blade in my pocket — the nearest place I could reach to cut my artery to kill myself once they tried to kill me, he added.

Long and engineer Zhang Guo both escaped in mid-October, but Long injured his ankle and was recaptured, while Zhang got away.

To punish Long, club-wielding militants ruthlessly hit him on the back and were alerted to highten security, confining him to a room of 15 square meters. They even dug a tunnel to connect his room with the toilet, so as to refrain him from any outdoor activities and thereby to better avoid escape.

The tunnel collapsed early Saturday as heavy snowstorms hit the region and Long was presumed dead. When militants opened the door to his room and found him alive, they were caught with surprise.

At 7 a.m. Saturday, Long was instructed to change into new clothes, for the first time in nearly half a year after being kidnapped. Then he was forced onto a car and after more than ten hours of ride in the mountains, he was transferred to Pakistani police at nightfall.

The Chinese ambassador Luo Zhaohui was notified of his release at 9 p.m. Saturday and immediately made relevant arrangements.

About four and a half hours later, Long returned to the Chinese embassy in Islamabad under the escort of Pakistani military and police. (ANI)

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