Page last updated at 17:04 GMT, Saturday, 6 February 2010

French aid worker Laurent Maurice released in Chad

Map of Chad

A French aid worker kidnapped in Chad last November has been released, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has said.

It said Laurent Maurice was tired but appeared to be in good health.

An ICRC spokesman told the Reuters news agency that the aid worker was now on his way to Sudan's capital Khartoum.

The ICRC did not provide any further details about Mr Maurice's release. Attacks on aid groups are frequent in eastern Chad.

"The ICRC is relieved that Laurent is now free, and happy that he will soon be back with his family and friends," Jordi Raich, the head of the ICRC's mission in Sudan, was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

"We would like to express our profound gratitude to all those who helped us in one way or another during his captivity," he added.

Mr Maurice, an agronomist, was seized by armed men on 9 November 2009 in the village of Kawa, about 20km (12 miles) from the border with Sudan.

The ICRC said at the time it had no idea who the attackers were or what their motive might be.

It temporarily suspended operations in the area.

Another Frenchman working for the ICRC, Gauthier Lefevre, was abducted in Darfur last October. He is still being held.

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