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An Afghan man talks on the phone outside the guest house that was stormed by a group of gunmen in Kabul in mid-May, 2017.
An Afghan man talks on the phone outside the guest house that was stormed by a group of gunmen in Kabul in mid-May, 2017.

The Finnish woman who was kidnapped in Afghanistan in May has been released after spending almost four months in captivity, according to a press release from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. She is safe and remains in Afghanistan.

The release of the aid worker has also been confirmed by her employer, Operation Mercy.

“The well-being of our colleague is being assessed. We request privacy for our colleague and our colleague’s family,” reads a press release from the international relief organisation based in Sweden.

The woman was kidnapped after a group of gunmen stormed a guest house operated by Operation Mercy in Kabul, Afghanistan late on 20 May. The gunmen are believed to have killed the local security guard posted outside the guest house before entering the second-floor room where the woman and her room-mate were sleeping, writes Helsingin Sanomat.

The room-mate was shot fatally in the attack.

The Finnish aid worker appeared on two videos during the months she spent in captivity, according to the daily newspaper. In July, she appeared on a video saying something very bad would happen to her unless the ransom demands of her kidnapper were met. 

Neither the Ministry for Foreign Affairs nor Operation Mercy has yet to shed further light on the process leading up to the release of the aid worker. Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini (BR) is expected to comment on the issue in an extraordinary press conference held at the Finnish Embassy in Washington DC, the United States, at 4pm on Thursday.

Soini is currently on a visit to the country to attend the Ninth Community of Democracies hosted by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Friday, 15 September.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Shah Marai – AFP/Lehtikuva

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