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German aid worker freed after being kidnapped in Niger four years ago | Germany

A 63-year-old German aid worker, Joerg Lange, has been freed more than four years after he was kidnapped in western Niger near the Mali border, his employer, the aid organization Help, said in a statement on Saturday.

Gunmen on motorbikes abducted Lange in April 2018 near the Niger town of Inates in border regions where militant groups, some linked to al-Qaeda and Islamic State, have carried out frequent attacks for years.

The aide did not say how Lange’s release was secured or his current whereabouts.

“We are very relieved and grateful that our colleague Joerg Lange can return to his family after more than four and a half years,” said Help’s managing director, Bianca Kaltschmitt.

She thanked the German Foreign Ministry and other German authorities, as well as “the authorities and friends of Mali, Niger and neighboring countries”.

An engineer by training, Lange had worked in the humanitarian sector for more than 30 years before being kidnapped.

theguardian Gt

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