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Kidnapped Swiss aid worker freed in Darfur

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Margaret Schenkel poses for picture with Red Crescent Society workers in North Darfur (ST file photo)
November 15, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Swiss aid worker kidnapped last month in the capital of North Darfur has been released and she is in good health, announced the Swiss foreign ministry in a statement issued on Wednesday.

The Swiss humanitarian worker, Margaret Schenkel, had been abducted from her home in El-Fasher, capital of North Darfur state by unknown gunmen on 7 October.

"The Swiss woman who was kidnapped on 7 October 2017 in the city of El-Fasher in North Darfur, Sudan, was released on 14 November 2017. She is in good health under the circumstances," said the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA)

"The FDFA is relieved about this positive development and thanks the Sudanese authorities for the great assistance they provided," further said the statement.

Margaret Schenkel later flew back to the capital Khartoum but declined to speak with reporters waiting at the Khartoum airport.

The Sudanese authorities didn’t issue any statement on the conditions of her release.

The head of the intelligence and security agency in North Darfur Awad al-Karim al-Qurashi told AShorooq TV they freed the Swiss aid worker thanks to their joint action with the Rapid Support Forces which is massively deployed in the state.

He added that they arrested some of the participants in the kidnapping who provided them with the details about the hideout where she is detained stressing they didn’t pay any ransom or even negotiate with the abductors.

Also, a foreign ministry spokesperson told Reuters that "leader and one member of the six-man kidnapping gang had been arrested".

(ST)

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