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British priest freed by Liberian rebels

A British missionary priest taken by rebel fighters from his church compound in Liberia has been handed over to Vatican representatives in neighbouring Guinea, according to diplomatic sources.

Fr Garry Jenkins, who has worked in Liberia for years, was taken from his compound during fighting more than two weeks ago by rebels trying to oust Liberian President Charles Taylor.

Diplomatic sources said yesterday Jenkins had been handed over to the Vatican's envoy in the Guinean capital Conakry and was in good health.

Rebel officials have said their fighters escorted Jenkins for his own safety from Bomi, near the capital Monrovia, to rebel headquarters 250 km to the north in Voinjama, travelling much of the way on foot.

Jenkins has long cared for ill or destitute people at his compound, and was looking after around 60 blind people when he was taken by the rebels.


30 May 2002