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Afghan Police Rescue German Woman Abducted in Kabul


Afghan government officials say police have freed a German woman held hostage by gunmen who seized her at a Kabul restaurant.

Interior Ministry officials say police freed the woman and arrested the kidnappers in a raid in the capital early Monday, not far from where she was abducted Saturday.

In Berlin, German Foreign Ministry officials confirmed the kidnapped aid worker arrived safely at the German Embassy in Kabul.

Today's rescue operation came hours after a video of the woman was broadcast by an Afghan television station. Identifying herself as Christina Meier, the woman said she was unharmed.

Afghan authorities have said they do not believe her kidnappers were Taleban militants, but rather members of a criminal gang.

Meier is a member of a small Christian relief organization, Ora International, that operates in about 30 countries.

The video in which she appeared included a demand by an unidentified man for the release of so-called "innocent prisoners" allegedly held by the Afghan government. Authorities in Kabul rejected the demand.

In a separate development, militants abducted four Afghan engineers from a bridge construction site in Kandahar province.

Afghan authorities also are trying to negotiate the release of 19 South Koreans and a German engineer taken hostage in two other incidents last month.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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