Taliban 'frees' French hostage

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The Taliban has said that it has released a French female aid worker who has been held by the group for three weeks.

There has been no confirmation from either Paris of Kabul to confirm the Taliban statement.

The female is one of five people abducted by the Taliban, all employed by the children's non-governmental organisation Terre d'Enfance. They went missing on April 3rd.

An Italian journalist, Daniele Mastrogiacomo, was kidnapped last month and a deal was reached to secure his release after two weeks by freeing Taliban prisoners.

Kabul was criticised for the move, which some argued would encourage the Taliban to kidnap more people if it thinks it will benefit.

The group has threatened to kill its hostages in addition to five other Afghan health workers it is also holding captive, according to the Reuters news agency.

An ongoing insurgency from the Taliban in Afghanistan continues to make areas of the country volatile and prone to acts of kidnapping and terrorism.

British forces have continued to battle with the Taliban since the incumbent regime became an insurgency and on April 13th a British solder was killed in small arms fire after Taliban forces attempted to set-up an ambush.

As of April 13th 2007, 53 British forces personnel had died while serving in the country since operations began in November 2001.

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