Dutch hostage in Afghanistan released after 81 days

The Hague, Sep 11 (IANS) Dutch aid worker Anja de Beer, who was kidnapped in June in Afghanistan has been released after 81 days, the Dutch foreign ministry said.

De Beer, who heads the Afghan office of Swiss aid group Helvetas, had been in captivity since June 22, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to a statement by the ministry, De Beer is doing well under the circumstances, with the Dutch embassy in Kabul providing consular assistance.

Dutch Foreign mMnister Bert Koenders, welcoming the release, said: “I am pleased to hear that Anja de Beer has been released on Thursday, putting an end to 81 long days of uncertainty,” he said.

“I spoke with her, and it was very reassuring to hear she is in good health,” Koenders said.

According to the statement the Dutch have consistently reminded the Afghan authorities of their responsibility to ensure De Beer’s safety and release.

It is unclear by whom De Beer has been kidnapped and how she was released. For the sake of other westerners being kidnapped in Afghanistan Koenders does not want to go into details.

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