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Kidnapped Albertan back in spotlight

A desperate phone call and bold-faced media reports this week putrenewed focus on an Alberta journalist held for ransom a world away.

A desperate phone call and bold-faced media reports this week put renewed focus on an Alberta journalist held for ransom a world away.

Conflicting stories from Mogadishu-based news sources have Reporters Without Borders Africa desk correspondent Ambroise Pierre cautioning that seemingly trustworthy information should be viewed with a critical eye.

The same week a woman claiming to be Sylvan Lake native Amanda Lindhout placed a distress call to a Canadian television station, pleading for her government to pay a $1-million ransom, a Somali news agency reported she gave birth, is happily married to one of her captors and is now a devout Muslim.

“There is provocation here,” Pierre said, adding Somali news agencies are often tied to criminal organizations.

“(The kidnappers) are attempting to provoke her family and the Canadian government. We should be extremely cautious.”

The one-year anniversary of Lindhout’s kidnapping falls on Aug. 28, Pierre said, urging the public to keep her memory alive.