4 aid workers rescued in Afghanistan
June 2, 2012 -- Updated 1723 GMT (0123 HKT)
UK Foreign Office issued this image of British aid worker Helen Johnston, who was freed.
- NEW: "We are delighted and hugely relieved by the wonderful news," family of freed Briton says
- They worked for Medair, a nongovernmental organization
- The aid workers were bringing food to children and pregnant women in the remote area
- The Taliban kidnapped them on May 22 in Badakhshan province
Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Four aid workers kidnapped last month in a remote area of northeastern Afghanistan were rescued Saturday morning, the International Security Assistance Force said.
The four worked for Medair, a nongovernmental organization based in Switzerland. They were kidnapped by the Taliban in Badakhshan province on May 22, officials said.
The aid workers -- a British woman, a Kenyan woman and two Afghans -- were bringing food to children and pregnant women in the remote and mountainous area when they were abducted.
The NATO-led coalition did not give any details on the rescue, but confirmed that all four were freed.
The two women were identified as Briton Helen Johnston and Moragwa Oirere, from Kenya.
"They are all now safe. Helen and Moragwa are receiving support from British Embassy staff in Kabul," the U.K Foreign Office said. "The two Afghan aid workers are returning to their families in Badakhshan."
Johnston's family welcomed the news.
"We are delighted and hugely relieved by the wonderful news that Helen and all her colleagues have been freed," they said in a statement. "We are deeply grateful to everyone involved in her rescue, to those who worked tirelessly on her behalf, and to family and friends for their love, prayers and support over the last 12 days."
Gen. John R. Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force, said it was a joint effort.
"This morning's mission, conducted by coalition forces, exemplifies our collective and unwavering commitment to defeat the Taliban," he said.
The U.K. Foreign Office said it is in touch with the families of the two women and the Afghan and Kenyan governments.
"We pay tribute to the bravery of the coalition forces which means that all four aid workers will soon be rejoining their families and loved ones. We have worked closely with the Afghan authorities throughout and we would like to thank them for their support."
U.K. forces were involved in the "carefully planned and coordinated operation," it added.
CNN's Laura Smith-Spark contributed to this report.
Part of complete coverage on
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0009 GMT (0809 HKT)
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1801 GMT (0201 HKT)
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1548 GMT (2348 HKT)
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0507 GMT (1307 HKT)
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT)
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
February 8, 2013 -- Updated 0718 GMT (1518 HKT)
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.
Today's five most popular stories