Kidnapped aid workers freed in Afghanistan

Aid workers from the World Food Programme (WFP) distribute food in Kabul on August 25, 2008.

Story highlights

  • The four were released unharmed
  • Five staffers from the same group were kidnapped in 2010 but released
  • The incident took place in Faryab province, located in the north
Four kidnapped Afghans who worked for a French aid agency have been released, the group said Tuesday.
The staffers were abducted Monday in the Almar district of Faryab province in northern Afghanistan, said Adrien Tomarchio, press officer for a Paris-based non-governmental organization called the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development.
Tomarchio told CNN in an e-mail Tuesday that they were freed "unharmed."
Ahmad Jaweed Bedar, the Faryab governor's spokesman, said the Taliban kidnapped the four and took their vehicle, a Toyota Hilux Surf.
Zeenat Garewal, ACTED country manager, said three of the staffers were community health trainers and one was a driver.
ACTED says it has developed programs in many countries to help people affected by wars, natural disasters, economic problems and social crises. It says it has about 900 staffers, of whom 98% are Afghan nationals.
The group has been working in Faryab province for more than nine years and has been engaged in development and community health projects there.
In a review of its 2010 work in Afghanistan, the group said five staffers had been abducted during that year but were "released unharmed."
France has nearly 4,000 troops in the country, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said, and has lost 75 military personnel in the Afghan war.