Woman kid­napped in Afghanistan freed

The Sun Times (Owen Sound) - - WORLD -

COPEN­HAGEN — A Fin­nish woman who had been kid­napped in Afghanistan was re­leased Thurs­day and is safe, of­fi­cials said with­out re­leas­ing her iden­tity. “It is with great joy that we con­firm the re­lease of our Fin­nish col­league who was ab­ducted on May 20,” said the hu­man­i­tar­ian or­ga­ni­za­tion Op­er­a­tion Mercy in a state­ment. In Kabul, the Afghan in­tel­li­gence agency would only con­firm the aid worker had been re­leased but re­fused to give any fur­ther in­for­ma­tion. The non-gov­ern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tion, based west of Stock­holm, Swe­den, said it was “still mourn­ing the death of our Ger­man col­league and the Afghan house guard who were killed in the ini­tial at­tack on the Kabul home of our col­leagues.” Fin­nish For­eign Min­is­ter Timo Soini said dur­ing a news con­fer­ence that Fin­land did not pay ran­som “and never would.” “If we did so, it would only en­cour­age more kid­nap­pings,” said Soini, who Thurs­day had a phone con­ver­sa­tion with the woman, who is still in Afghanistan. De­tec­tive Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Thomas Elf­gren of Fin­land’s Na­tional Bu­reau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion said at the same news con­fer­ence that the kid­nap­pers are still at large but Afghan po­lice con­tin­ued to in­ves­ti­gate the kid­nap­ping which they be­lieve was planned. He didn’t give fur­ther de­tails.

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