Afghanistan: Italian hostage is released

Italian aid worker Clementina Cantoni has been freed nearly a month after being taken hostage in &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Afghanistan, the Afghan interior ministry has said.

"She has just been released," said a ministry spokesman. "She is fine."

Ms Cantoni, who works for aid agency Care International, was abducted on 16 May by gunmen who forced her out of her car in central &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Kabul.

She has been in Afghanistan since September 2003, supporting more than 10,000 widows and their children.

Hours before her release was announced, hundreds of schoolgirls in the Afghan capital, Kabul, handed out nearly 3,000 stickers calling for Ms Cantoni to be freed.

No details about her release were immediately provided, reports BBC News.

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