A Bangladeshi citizen working for the United Nations has been freed after a year and a half abduction by Al Qaeda in Yemen, the prime minister’s office said.
“I never thought I would return home,” Akam Sofyol Anam told reporters in Dhaka, following his return a day earlier on Wednesday, calling the last 18 months “horrifying”.
“I thought the terrorists might kill me anytime”, added Anam, a former army lieutenant colonel. “My days were miserable. There was a fear of death every day; it cannot be expressed in words — it is seen in films only.”
In February 2022, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Penin-sula (AQAP) kidnapped Anam and four others as they returned to Yemen’s southern port city of Aden after a field mission while working for UN Department of Safety and Security.
Anam said that he was not physically tortured, but had often been kept blindfolded.
“I couldn’t see the sky for months,” he said, adding that he was moved repeatedly from place to place.
He said that he had “no idea how much money they wanted or what was their demand”, adding that he thought he had been “targeted as I was an UN official.” Anam “expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her role in rescuing him”, the premier’s office said, releasing a picture of the two meeting.—AFP