Taliban claims to have released French hostage

The Afghan government said it was investigating claims from the Taliban on Saturday that the militants have released a French aid worker, who was kidnapped early this month along with another Frenchman and three Afghan colleagues. Purported Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi said that the French woman was handed over to tribal leaders in the Maywand district of southern Kandahar province. His claim could not immediately be verified. "Because she was a woman, to make good relations with the French government, we have handed this woman over to Maywand district tribal leaders," Ahmadi told The Associated Press by telephone.