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Helen Johnston, Freed British Hostage, Recovering In Hospital After Dawn Rescue

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Helen Johnston was rescued by special forces early on Friday morning | PA

A British woman rescued from Afghanistan by UK and US special forces is recovering from her ordeal.

Aid worker Helen Johnston, 28, from east Belfast, was freed with three other hostages during a daring raid in Badakhshan province on Friday morning.

Prime Minister David Cameron called the operation, in which a number of kidnappers were killed, "extraordinarily brave".

The hostages work for Swiss aid group Medair and were on horseback in the remote province in north eastern Afghanistan when they were captured on 22 May.

Nutritionist Ms Johnston was rescued with Kenyan medic Moragwa Oirere and two Afghans, according to an ISAF spokesman.

Mr Cameron authorised the mission and said: "It was an extraordinarily brave, breathtaking even, operation that our troops had to carry out."

He said kidnappers of British citizens faced a "swift and brutal end".

He has spoken to Ms Johnston, her Cambridge University tutor father Philip, mother Patricia and brother Peter.

East Belfast Democratic Unionist Party MLA Sammy Douglas said they are a close knit family.

"I know Helen's uncle, who is a good friend of mine, and certainly he will be absolutely overjoyed with this news," he said.

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