A spokesman for Niger's president says an Australian woman kidnapped last month in northern Burkina Faso has been freed.

Jocelyn Elliott and her husband — surgeon Ken Elliott — were kidnapped near the Burkina Faso town of Djibo on Jan. 15. Al-Qaida's North Africa wing claimed responsibility for the kidnapping Friday and said it would release Jocelyn Elliott so as "not to make women involved in the war," according to an audio recording translated by the SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks jihadi activity online.

Niger presidential spokesman Abdourahmane Alilou said Saturday night that Jocelyn Elliott had been freed and appeared before journalists in the Niger town of Dosso along with Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou. Alilou said Issoufou worked with Burkina Faso intelligence services to secure her release.