French aid workers freed in Afghanistan

Two French aid workers, who were originally kidnapped on July 18 in the town of Nili in central Afghanistan, have been released and are reported to be in good health according to French authorities.


PARIS, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Two French aid workers who were
abducted in Afghanistan on July 18 have been released and are in
good health, French authorities said on Saturday.

The two men, who worked for French NGO Action Contre la Faim
(Action Against Hunger), were kidnapped in the town of Nili in
central Afghanistan after gunmen tied up guards and broke into
the guest house where they were sleeping, their NGO had said.

"The president rejoices and expresses his relief after the
announcement of the release of our two compatriots..." said a
statement from the office of President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The presidency and the foreign ministry both thanked Afghan
authorities and President Hamid Karzai for their role in
securing the release of the hostages.

The Afghan government had said the two were being held by
Sedaqat, a former armed faction commander. Sedaqat told a
Western radio station he had kidnapped them because of
differences with authorities in central Dai Kundi province, who
he said had sidelined him from power.

Action Contre la Faim suspended its operations in
Afghanistan after the abduction. It set up its first mission
there in 1979 and has conducted a series of operations since

A French businessman was abducted in Afghanistan in May and
released in June after weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiations.

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