Katherine Jane Wilson, an Australia aid worker kidnapped by armed men in Afghanistan in April, has been released, NBC News reports. "She is now safe and well," Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in a statement, adding she's "relieved" for the woman called "Kerry Jane" by her loved ones. Wilson, said to be in her 60s, has worked in Afghanistan for more than two decades, specifically assisting female artists and entrepreneurs through an NGO she founded.
Although Bishop didn't get into whether a ransom was paid to the armed perps, who reportedly posed as Afghan intel officers before snatching Wilson from her charity's office in Jalalabad, the Sydney Morning Herald notes "it was understood" that Wilson's kidnappers were probably just local thugs who wanted money, not Taliban extremists. The country's intelligence agency its special-ops forces helped free Wilson and that "several suspects" have been arrested, per the New York Times. "To protect those who remain captive or face the risk of kidnapping in Afghanistan and elsewhere, the Government will not comment on the circumstances of Kerry Jane's release," Bishop says, adding, "Her family has asked for privacy." (The kidnappers of a Brazilian billionaire's mother-in-law demanded a hefty ransom.)