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Could the nightmare be over?

PUBLISHED: 11:58 06 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:37 03 March 2010

IT looks as if the nightmare is almost over for reporter Yvonne Ridley who was arrested in Afghanistan - and today a former colleague in Ipswich spoke of his relief at the news.

IT looks as if the nightmare is almost over for reporter Yvonne Ridley who was arrested in Afghanistan – and today a former colleague in Ipswich spoke of his relief at the news.

The Taliban has ordered the release of Sunday Express journalist Yvonne Ridley, according to reports quoting the Afghanistan Islamic Press news agency.

She was due to face a trial for illegally entering the country but Mullah Mohammad Omar, the country's spiritual leader has reportedly ordered her release.

Ipswich man Simon Young, former assistant editor of the Sunday Express, gave Yvonne Ridley a job in Fleet Street – and has been anxiously waiting for news.

"Obviously this is extremely good news, because certainly over the last few days things had been looking gloomier and gloomier," said Mr Young, of Winston Avenue, who runs successful Suffolk PR company SJY Media.

"With conflict looming, there was always the fear she could be used as a human shield, so it is very good to hear that she is hopefully going to be released.

"Knowing Yvonne, once she gets back the first thing she will do will be to see her family – she missed her daughter Daisy's ninth birthday this week.

"Then I'm sure that as soon as possible she will get together with her colleagues too."

Mr Young said he would be phoning his former Express colleagues to find out the full position. "One of my former bosses, editorial director Paul Ashford, is out there and has been trying to negotiate Yvonne's release."

Ms Ridley's mother Joyce said the news that her daughter was to be released was "wonderful".

She told Sky News: "I don't know what to think, I want to thank everybody.'

Speaking about the past few days she added: "I've had wonderful notes and letters from people asking for Yvonne's release.'

But she went on to describe today's news as the end of a "nightmare'.

Ms Ridley was arrested on September 28 while travelling undercover near Jalalabad, a city near the eastern border with Pakistan.

At the time it was reported that she had been detained with two local guides in the village of Dour Baba, 40 miles southeast of Jalalabad.

She had been on the Afghan border for more than ten days before heading into Afghanistan wearing traditional dress.

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