By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - An American aid worker taken hostage in Niger in 2016 has been released, the White House confirmed Monday.
Jeffery Woodke has been set free after being kidnapped in the West African nation over six years ago, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said.
"I’m gratified & relieved to see the release of U.S. hostage Jeff Woodke after over 6 years in captivity," Sullivan said on Twitter. "The U.S. thanks Niger for its help in bringing him home to all who miss & love him. I thank so many across our government who’ve worked tirelessly toward securing his freedom."
Additional details were not immediately available.
Woodke had lived in West Africa for decades, working as an aid worker before he was abducted from his home in Niger in 2016.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week visited the country in what marked the first such visit by a top US diplomat to Niger. He met then with President Mohamed Bazoum and Foreign Minister Hassoumi Massoudou in what may have been meetings central to securing Woodke's release.