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3 kidnapped, released in West Bank

Three American women kidnapped in the West Bank were released hours later. The three were abducted Tuesday in Nablus, near the Balata refugee camp, The Associated Press reported. The information came from Palestinian officials, who did not identify the women. No Palestinian group took responsibility for the abductions, though a man claiming to be the kidnapper called the AP and demanded a job in the Palestinian Authority security forces and money for medication in exchange for the women’s release. The U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem said it had no details on the identities of those abducted. Palestinian gunmen have kidnapped foreigners as a means of acquiring attention, funds or arms. The foreigners often are released relatively quickly and unharmed.