Abducted Red Cross Staffer Freed In Afghanistan

The International Committee of the Red Cross says a Spanish staff member who was abducted in northern Afghanistan last month has been released.

Juan Carlos was kidnapped on December 19 when workers from the group were traveling between Mazar-e Sharif and Kunduz.

The ICRC's head of delegation in Afghanistan, Monica Zanarelli, said on January 15 that Carlos is now back with its team in Kunduz.

"We are relieved and grateful that Juan Carlos is now back with us, safe and sound," Zanarelli said in a statement.

"His abduction was a terrible ordeal for him, as well as for his family, friends, and colleagues,” the statement added.

The ICRC did not identify the abductors or their motives.

The kidnapping of foreign nationals has been on the rise in Afghanistan.

In August, gunmen kidnapped two professors of the American University of Afghanistan in the capital, Kabul.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and dpa