Page last updated at 15:35 GMT, Friday, 20 June 2008 16:35 UK

Frenchman released in Afghanistan

A French businessman kidnapped in southern Afghanistan last month has been released unharmed along with two Afghan colleagues.

The French Foreign Ministry said Johan Freckhaus was on his way back to France after being freed on Thursday.

Mr Freckhaus was abducted in Ghazni province between Kandahar and Kabul. It is not clear who kidnapped him.

The AFP news agency reported that a ransom had been paid - French officials have not responded to the claim.

A statement from the Foreign Ministry in Paris said French officials had used "discretion" which "allowed for a happy and quick ending in the case".

But Ghazni provincial council member, Haji Taj Mohammad Musa, who represents the district where the abduction took place, said Mr Freckhaus's freedom had been bought, AFP reports.

"He was finally released in exchange for money and they paid money," the agency quoted Mr Musa as saying.

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