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Page last updated at 22:32 GMT, Friday, 25 July 2008 23:32 UK

Chad rebels release US missionary

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Rebels in northern Chad have freed an American missionary after holding him hostage for more than nine months, his evangelical organisation has said.

The Evangelical Alliance Mission (Team), based in Illinois, said Steven Godbold, 49, had been released near Bardai and would soon return to the US.

Mr Godbold was captured in October by the Movement for Democracy and Justice (MDJT) on suspicion of being a spy.

He had been helping an organisation transport equipment to drill wells.

In January, the MDJT said its inquiries showed the missionary had not been working for the Chad's government, but it did not let him go.

"Godbold was ultimately released following extensive negotiations between his captors and Team," the US missionary organisation said in a statement.

"Team emphasises that Godbold's release was unconditional and that no ransom was paid and no concessions of any type were made to secure his release," the statement added.


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