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BAGHDAD: A German woman kidnapped in Baghdad earlier this week was freed overnight and is now in the care of her embassy, officials from the two countries said on Friday.

"Security forces have freed activist Hella Mewis," Iraq's military spokesman Yahya Rasool said in a statement. Mewis has worked in Baghdad since 2013 and was one of the few westerners who lived outside the high-security Green Zone, where most diplomatic missions are located.

She ran arts programmes at Iraqi collective Beit Tarkib and was close to many young photographers and painters. Mewis was leaving her office in central Baghdad on Monday evening when unidentified assailants in two cars, including a white pickup truck typically used by Iraqi security forces, abducted her. Police officers at the local station witnessed the abduction but did not intervene, the source added.