The French government has confirmed the release of one of two French aid workers being held hostage in Afghanistan. A statement from the Taliban says the woman, who is simply known as Celine, has been freed on humanitarian grounds. Her colleague, who is known as Eric, will be held for another week, according to a Taliban spokesman.
The Taliban had given France until today to remove its Nato-led troops from the country in exchange for the lives of the pair and three Afghans abducted at the same time. The group were kidnapped earlier this month in the southwest Nimroz province. France’s Foreign Minister, Phillippe Douste-Blazy, says everything is being done to ensure the remaining hostages are freed as soon as possible. As for the continued presence of French troops, Douste-Blazy says they have no long-term intentions to stay.