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Jerusalem (CNN) -- A Russian-born Israeli hostage who escaped Hamas was recaptured by Gazans and returned to fighters before he was finally released on Sunday, his aunt said.

Roni Kriboy was kidnapped at the Nova music festival during the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack and then held in a building in Gaza, Yelena Magid told Israeli radio station Kan Reshet B on Monday.

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Kriboy photographed after his release on November 26. (Credit: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters)

The 25-year-old, a dual national, managed to escape when the building was bombed, but after hiding for a few days he was captured and returned to Hamas, Magid said during a call to the radio station.

"He said he had been kidnapped by terrorists and taken to a building," he said.

"As I understood it, the building collapsed because of the shelling and he managed to escape from there... And for several days he hid and was alone, and in the end the Gazans caught him and returned him to the hands of the terrorists," Magid added.


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"He tried to get to the border. I think since he didn't have the means to understand where he was and where to flee, he probably got a little disoriented there in the area. He was alone for four days," he added.

Kriboy suffered a head injury when the building he was being held in collapsed, but he is now doing well, Magid said.

Kriboy is the first adult male captured on Oct. 7 that Hamas has liberated. His release was not officially part of the hostage deal between Israel and Hamas.

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This agreement paved the way for the release of 50 women and children held in Gaza, while Israel will release up to 150 detained Palestinian women and children.

Hamas attributed Kriboy's release to Russian President Vladimir Putin's intervention and "Russia's position of support for the Palestinian cause."

Magid said his nephew's parents moved from Russia to Israel in 1992, six years before Kriboy was born. "The boy was born here and grew up here all his life. He barely speaks Russian," he told the radio station.

Amir Tal reported from Jerusalem, and Stephanie Halasz wrote from London

Israel-Palestine conflictHamasHostagesRussians