Parents overjoyed at return of son following kidnap ordeal

Exhausted Sahil Saeed yesterday enjoyed his first full day back home since being freed from his two-week kidnap ordeal in Pakistan.

The five-year-old arrived back in Oldham, Greater Manchester, with his father on Thursday night to a rapturous reception from relatives.

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.

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Sahil made a brief appearance after his arrival, hiding his face from waiting media as he was held in his mother Akila Naqqash's arms outside the home.

The schoolboy was snatched on March 4 by gunmen during a holiday in Pakistan with his father, Raja Naqqash Saeed, and other relatives. He was released on Tuesday, and found wandering in a field nearby.

His aunt, Naila Wasseem, and great-uncle, Mushtaq Raja, said the family was "overjoyed" to have him back. Relatives dashed in and out of the house, bringing food in big steel pans for the celebrations.

Ms Wasseem said: "We are ecstatic, everybody is over the moon. Everybody, for 13 days, all we have done is non-stop praying. Now the mood's totally changed.

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"I think today is going to be low-key, maybe the next few days we will have a party."

Sahil's great-uncle added: "They (Sahil's parents) wanted to cry – when you are so happy, you had lost your son, then he appears before your eyes – you can't imagine how emotional it is. The boy is very tired."

The kidnappers struck while Sahil was in Jhelum, in the Punjab region of Pakistan.