Helen Johnston: Hostage rescued in Afghanistan by SAS is from Stoke Newington

An aid worker held hostage in Afghanistan and rescued by UK and US special forces is from north London.

Helen Johnston, 28, from Stoke Newington, is recovering from her ordeal after being 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 May 22.

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


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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”.

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

Ms Johnston is a graduate of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

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