GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Masked gunmen briefly kidnapped two Spanish journalists who were taking photographs Saturday in the Khan Younis refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip (search), according to Palestinian officials and the journalists.
A reporter for El Pais (search), Ramon Lobo, said he and a photographer, Carmen Secanella, were held by gunmen for about 90 minutes before being released unharmed.
Palestinian security officials said the kidnappers were from the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades (search). An official with the group denounced the kidnapping, saying it was done for personal and not political reasons.
Security officials confirmed that the militants helped work to free the journalists.
The journalists were taking photographs of houses destroyed in a recent Israeli raid into the camp when they were abducted, the officials said.
Over the past four years, foreign and Israeli Arab journalists have felt relatively safe in Gaza. However, Gaza has grown increasingly chaotic in recent months.
In September an Israeli Arab who works as a producer for CNN was briefly kidnapped, reportedly by members of Al Aqsa. In May, Palestinians attempted to kidnap a New York Times correspondent, but the reporter escaped.