LONDON, England (CNN) - Three journalists who work for The Guardian were released Wednesday after being held hostage for six days in northeastern Afghanistan, the British newspaper announced.
Foreign correspondent Ghaith Abdul-Ahad and two Afghan journalists - whom the newspaper did not identify for security reasons - are in "good spirits" and healthy, the newspaper said.
The Guardian did not report the kidnapping before Wednesday.
It said the three were were kidnapped by a "criminal gang" in Pech Valley, in Kunar Province. They had traveled there to try to interview local insurgents, the newspaper said.
The area is known to be a Taliban stronghold. However, it was not known if the kidnappers were linked to any particular group.
The Guardian credited the journalists' release to a coordinated plan.
"The Guardian has a comprehensive emergency plan to deal with such incidents, which was enacted immediately in both London and Kabul," said an unnamed spokesman who was quoted in the newspaper's article on the release.
"As part of this plan the paper engaged professional advisers in the U.K. and Afghanistan to assist in securing the individuals' release."
Further details of the release were not immediately available. The newspaper said the three had been held in difficult and cold conditions and with little food.
It said it had received a message from Abdul-Ahad on December 9, and two days later learned of the kidnapping.