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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

06/30/1999

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U.S. Missionary Freed From Chechnya

A U.S. missionary and teacher was freed Tuesday from seven months of captivity and torture in Chechnya, during which his kidnappers cut off part of his right index finger, officials said. Herbert Gregg was rescued by a joint force of Ingush and federal law enforcers, Interior Minister Vladimir Rushailo told reporters in Moscow. Gregg, 51, looked pale, disheveled and exhausted as he arrived accompanied by a team of burly police commandos at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport Tuesday night. He was met by U.S. Ambassador James Collins, Rushailo and a crowd of journalists. Gregg could not restrain himself from breaking into Rushailo's introductory statement at the impromptu airport news conference to say how ""very happy"" he was. He was reluctant to answer questions about the abuse he suffered, saying only that he was ""treated differently"" and that ""there were easy times and more difficult times."" He said his only message to his captors was that ""God loves you.

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