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Swiss worker abducted in Chad now free

A Swiss-British worker who was abducted nine days ago in eastern Chad has been freed, the country’s interior ministry said on Wednesday.

This content was published on June 16, 2010 - 13:40

The man was working for the British charity, Oxfam, when he was kidnapped near the town of Abeche.

“I was locked up the whole day in a small cell and was only allowed out at night,” said the 57-year-old man who also holds British citizenship. “I didn’t see light for eight days.”

The man said his captors had not harmed him physically but that he suffered after his kidnappers gave him water from a can that smelled of oil.

Chad Interior Minister Ahmat Mahamat Bachir said the captors were among many armed bandits operating in the region.

Bachir added that security forces had tracked the hostage and his captors to the town of Guerida just north of Abeche, and that the operation to free him had unfolded without violence.

The Swiss foreign ministry said it was relieved the man had been freed and thanked the authorities in Chad for their actions.

The United Nations agreed a few weeks ago to start pulling peacekeepers out of the central African country, a move aid groups feared would create a security vacuum.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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