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French hostage in Central African Republic released: FM

By Xinhua | January 24th 2015

French aid worker kidnapped earlier this week in the Central African Republic (CAR) was freed, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Friday.

Claudia Priest, abducted on Jan. 19 in Banqui, "is finally free," said France's top diplomat, adding the captive's liberation was "a huge relief for all those who have worked towards this happy ending."

In a communique issued by the Quai d'Orsay, Fabius praised the help of "Central African government and the Archbishop of Bangui who actively contributed to her release."

No details were given on the operation of the hostage releasing.

The 67-year-old French woman was working for a charity providing health and education support to Central African villages.

In 2013, France began a military operation in the African country "given the emergency" after clashes between Christian militias and largely Muslim Seleka rebels killed hundreds of civilians and forced thousands of civilians to flee bloodshed.

Following its military operations in Afghanistan, Mali and Iraq, France has been the target of Islamist cells which urged their followers to harm the country's interests and people.

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