Pilot returns home in Bangalore after being held hostage in Congo

     Syed Mazher, a pilot who was taken hostage on July 24 by Rwandan rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo, returned to his home in Bangalore on Thursday. Mazher said he had lost all hopes of freedom, but with the efforts of the External Affairs Ministry and the Government, he was released on Monday. After reuniting with his family members, Mazher thanked the governments of India and Karnataka. "I would like to thank government of India, especially thanks to Manmohan Singh and S. M. Krishna, and local bodies of Karnataka, each and everybody, Yeddyurappa and government of Karnataka. Special thanks to the Indian embassy in Democratic Republic of Congo. They have worked it out in all possible ways to get me out and there was United Nations (mission) also helping to get me out from the rebels," said Mazher. Mazher said that his captivity in the dense forests of Africa were like a nightmare, which he never wants to recall. Mazher and his father, Syed Munawwar, extended their thanks to the Indian government, after which his father asked for employment for Mazher in India. Syed Mazher, 25, a co-pilot for a local airline, was taken hostage on July 24 when rebels attacked his plane after he landed at Walikale airstrip.

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