Latin America & Caribbean

Abducted Colombian girl Nohora Valentina Munoz released

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Media captionAs Nohora and her father, Jorge Enrique Munoz, were reunited, he spoke of his relief at her release

A 10-year-old Colombian girl whose kidnapping last month shocked the nation has been released.

President Juan Manuel Santos said Nohora Valentina Munoz was freed after mediation by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

It is not yet clear who kidnapped her as she walked to school in the town of Fortul near Colombia's border with Venezuela.

But suspicion had fallen on left-wing rebel groups active in the region.

Thousands of troops and police had been involved in efforts to rescue her.

"Let's celebrate the liberation of Nohora Valentina," President Santos wrote on Twitter.

"We thank the ICRC".

Details of how her release was negotiated, and who was holding her, have not yet been made public.

Large demonstrations

Nohora, who is the daughter of the mayor of Fortul, was kidnapped by masked gunman on 29 September.

Her mother was abducted with her but released almost immediately.

Her plight provoked an outcry across Colombia, and there have been large demonstrations to demand her release.

The town of Fortul is in the Arauca region, where Colombia's two left-wing rebel groups, the ELN and the Farc, both operate.

Both groups had denied abducting the girl.

Right-wing paramilitaries and criminal gangs are also active in the region.

Colombia was once known as the "kidnap capital of the world", but the kidnapping rate has fallen sharply over the past decade.

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