Gabriele Torsello is back on home ground after a three week kidnap ordeal in Afghanistan. The Italian photographer has been greeted by the country’s defence minister at a military airport near Rome. This a day after his captors freed him and left him on the side of a road.
The 36-year-old, who says he was shackled and blindfolded during his ordeal, was overheard saying “Thank you Italy” as he got off the plane. A convert to Islam, Torsello was abducted on October 12 while travelling in the south of Afghanistan. He was said to have won the confidence of the Taliban and given permission to photograph their operations. Italy says no ransom was paid. Its ambassador to Afghanistan puts the release down to pressure from local elders and the work of Afghan authorities.