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Annan hails release of abducted aid worker in Dagestan

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United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed the release of Arjan Erkel, a volunteer for a non-governmental organization who had been kidnapped almost two years while working in the Russian republic of Dagestan. In a statement issued by his spokesman in New York, Mr. Annan thanked the Russian and Dagestani authorities for their efforts in helping to free Mr. Erkel. Mr. Erkel was abducted on 12 August 2002 while serving with the aid agency Médecins Sans Frontières.