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Second French hostage freed in Afghanistan within 24 hours

Reuters/Mohammad Ishaq

A second French citizen has been freed in Afghanistan just hours after the release of aid worker-turned-photographer, Pierre Borghi. The man, known simply as Charles, was employed by the NGO, Acted.

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Charles was kidnapped on 27 January, two months after Borghi, and was freed less than 24 hours after him but officials say that their releases were not connected.

Dossier: AfPak news and analysis

Charles was financial director of Acted and was taken hostage in Kabul itself when his captors blocked the passage of the 4X4 and abducted him but not another foreigner in the vehicle, according to NGO security organisation, Anso.

The last French hostages to be held in Afghanistan were TV journalists Stéphane Taponier and Hervé Guesquière, who were freed in June 2011 after 18 months in captivity.

Fifteen French citizens are currently being held hostage, all of them in Africa, seven of them in the Sahara region.

In Afghanistan the number of kidnappings is now lower than it was in 2010 but has started to rise again in mid-2012.

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