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2 Abducted Foreign Aid Workers Freed in Northern Somalia


Officials in northern Somalia say two female foreign health-care workers abducted a week ago have been released by their captors.

Puntland regional government officials say the women - a Spanish doctor and Argentine nurse - were freed Wednesday and are now safe in a hotel in the port town of Bosasso.

The two women work for the Paris-based group Doctors Without Borders. They were seized last week in Bosasso by gunmen.

Police gave chase and engaged in a gunfight with the kidnappers, and two were captured.

On Tuesday, Doctors Without Borders withdrew its staff from central Somalia because of the abductions.

Puntland is relatively peaceful compared to the rest of Somalia, which has been torn by violence since warlords overthrew dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. But the region has become a staging ground for kidnappings, piracy and human trafficking.

The two medical workers were seized two days after a French journalist, Gwen Le Gouil, was released more than a week after his abduction in Puntland.

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

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