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    Family 'ecstatic' as kidnap boy returns home


    by ODN


    The family of kidnapped Sahil Saeed said they were "ecstatic, over the moon" following his safe return to the UK on Thursday night.

    The exhausted youngster hid his face from waiting media as he was held in his mother Akila Naqqash's arms outside the family home in Oldham, Greater Manchester.

    A home-made banner saying "Welcome Sahil" hung from windows outside the terraced house, with steel barriers surrounding the property to keep back dozens of reporters, photographers and TV crews.

    It was the end of a two-week ordeal for the five-year-old who was snatched by gunmen during a holiday in Pakistan with his father, Raja Naqqash Saeed, and other relatives.

    The kidnappers struck on March 4 in Jhelum in the Punjab region of Pakistan. An international police operation was launched and Mr Saeed returned to Europe, going to Paris where he handed over a £110,000 ransom to secure his son's release.

    Three people, two Pakistani men and a Romanian woman, were arrested in Spain after police followed two of them from the French capital. All three appeared in court on Thursday where they were remanded in custody charged with kidnapping a minor.

    After handing over the ransom, Mr Saeed returned to Pakistan, where he was reunited with his son.

    The pair flew into Manchester Airport from Islamabad and headed straight to the family home where the little boy's return prompted scenes of celebration. Relatives dashed in and out of the house, bringing food in big steel pans for the celebration.