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Venezuelan journalist freed 8 days after kidnap

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - A Venezuelan journalist was freed Monday, eight days after she was kidnapped by masked men in front of her house.

Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres told a news conference that 3,000 people had been hunting for Nairobi Pinto, chief correspondent for the Globovision television station, and "the police pressure played an important role" in prompting the captors to free her. He said nobody had been arrested and did not say if a ransom was paid.

Rodriguez Torres said officials have not wanted to speculate about a motive for the kidnapping, though he noted that Pinto is a university law student and member of a Christian group as well as being a journalist. While kidnapping for ransom is a widespread problem in Venezuela, Pinto's family said earlier they had received no messages from the abductors.

Pinto herself appeared briefly alongside the minister and said she could not identify her captors because her eyes were always covered.

"They treated me well. They never touched me, never mistreated me. I ate all three meals," she said.

She said she could not give more details for reasons of security.

Three armed men in masks seized Pinto in front of her house in Caracas on April 6 and she was freed at a hospital in the town of Cua, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) south of the capital.

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