19 Jul 2013

Kidnapped aid workers freed

1:29 pm on 19 July 2013

Two Spanish aid workers kidnapped in Kenya nearly two years ago and held over the border in Somali, have been freed.

Medecins Sans Frontieres said the two women were both "safe and healthy".

Montserrat Serra and Blanca Thiebaut were abducted from the Dadaab refugee camp on 13 October, 2011.

Kenya accused the al-Shabab group of being behind their kidnapping and a spate of others. It sent troops into Somalia and later seized most of the border region from al-Shabab.

Dadaab is said to be the world's largest refugee camp. It houses an estimated 500,000 people.

The BBC reports both women were working as logisticians for MSF there.

"MSF wishes to thank everyone involved in securing their safe release," the organisation said, without giving details about how they were freed.

Ms Serra, a qualified teacher from Girona in Spain, had been working in Kenya for two months before she was kidnapped. She previously worked on aid projects in Latin America and Yemen.

An agricultural engineer by training, Ms Thiebaut from Madrid had not long finished a degree at the London School of Economics at the time of her abduction.