Kidnapped Chinese company employee set free in Afghanistan

2008-07-27 16:15:47 GMT       2008-07-28 00:15:47 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

KABUL, July 27 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese national working for a Chinese company who was kidnapped by unknown militants in the central Afghan province of Wardak last month was set free Sunday, said the Chinese embassy in Kabul.

"Thanks to help from the Afghan government and local tribal elders and rescue efforts of the Chinese government, the abductee has been released sound and safe," Yang Houlan, Chinese ambassador to Afghanistan, told Xinhua.

He said kidnappers freed the Chinese unconditionally after nearly month-long negotiations between rescuers and the armed group who had conducted the kidnapping.

The ill-fated Chinese national was kidnapped on June 29 while he and an Afghan driver were driving toward a camp of the Chinese company near Maydanshahr, the provincial capital of Wardak.

Afghanistan has been the scene of increasing insecurity over the past months as militants or criminal gangs continue to launch bombing attacks and kidnappings.

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