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Friday, 18 January, 2002, 18:55 GMT
Afghan warlord 'releases US citizen'
Amanda and Clark Bowers
Amanda and Clark Bowers before the kidnapping
An American citizen kidnapped by an Afghan warlord is reported to have been released.

He has been roughed up a bit but he will be fine

Family spokeswoman
Clark Bowers, 37, phoned his wife Amanda earlier this week saying he had been abducted while on a private mission to take medical and humanitarian relief to Afghanistan.

But now a spokeswoman for Mr Bowers' family, Karen Allen, said he has now told his family he is "in the care" of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Associated Press news agency reports.

"He has been roughed up a bit, but he will be fine," Ms Allen said.

An FBI spokesman in Washington said he could not confirm the report, the Associated Press says.

Ransom mystery

The unknown abductors had reportedly asked for $25,000 for Mr Bowers' freedom.

Clark Bowers
Clark travelled to Afghanistan twice before
It is not clear if the ransom was paid.

Correspondents say law and order in Afghanistan has deteriorated since the fall of the Taleban regime and the re-emergence of local warlords.

An official at the US embassy in Islamabad said the Pakistani authorities and the new Afghan government had been asked to help trace the missing American.

Mr Bowers had travelled to Afghanistan twice on his own on humanitarian missions since the 11 September attacks on the US.

He is a political consultant and had worked on the election campaign of former US President, Ronald Reagan and California Republican representative, Dona Rohrabacher.

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