1 Sep 2013

Woman held hostage with boyfriend in Somalia, starved, gang-raped and 'forced to give birth to a child in captivity

 Naive: Aspiring journalist Amanda Lindhout (left) and photographer Nigel Brennan (right) were taken hostage in Somalia in 2007 Naive: Aspiring journalist Amanda Lindhout (left) and photographer Nigel Brennan (right) were taken hostage in Somalia in 2007
A waitress-turned-journalist has revealed her hellish tale of 15 months being held hostage by Somali terrorists where captors gang-raped her and played Russian roulette with an assault rifle.
Amanda Lindhout naively flew to the impoverished and volatile nation in 2008 at the age of 24 after convincing an ex-boyfriend to come along on the dangerous jaunt.

Miss Lindhout and Nigel Brennan, a 36-year-old Australian photographer, were kidnapped on their third day in the country.

Survival: Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan smile in November 2009 after being freed following 15 months in captivity

A Somali journalist, Abdifatah Mohammed Elmi, who was working as their interpreter, was also kidnapped, but released after several months.

The couple's ensuing 15 months in captivity are described in all their horrific detail in Lindhout's memoir, A House in the Sky, out next week, according to the New York Post.

Brennan had no experience of war zones and Lindhout has spent little time in Iraq where she had been taken hostage once before.

Volatile nation: Somali is deperately poor and ravaged by terrorists, leaving the country so dangerous that even seasoned journalists fear to tread

The desperate pair hatch an escape plan after Lindhout was driven to the desert alone one night and forced to beg for her life in the dirt.

They break through a bathroom window and jump 12 feet to the ground and run screaming into a local mosque for help.

The terrified locals are unable to save the pair from their captors who are close behind, the deadliest hostage-taker wielding an assault rifle.

One man at the mosque attempts to arm Brennan with a gun but he cannot bring himself to fire. A woman hugs Lindhout close.

The hostages are beaten before taking them to a house where the rooms are no more than pitch-black cells and ridden with rats. They were pistol-whipped and locked in chains after their escape attempt.

There have been suggestions that Lindhout gave birth to a boy named Osama while she was in captivity but has never spoken of it - only said that she has endured 'unspeakable atrocities', the Post reported.

Finally, they were freed in November 2009 after 460 days in captivity after their families scrapped together thousands of dollars and begged for their lives.

Shortly after her release, she said: 'I was beaten and I was tortured. It was an extremely, extremely difficult situation.'

Brennan published a memoir the Price of a Life in 2011 while Lindhout's book is available this week. The former couple no longer speak.

She has also set up a foundation the Global Enrichment Foundation while helps women in Kenya and Somalia.

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