STORY: Woodke, a Christian humanitarian worker, was kidnapped in neighbouring Niger in 2016. According to Kirby, the U.S. citizen is safe and on his way home.The circumstances of the release were not immediately clear but the U.S. reported there were no direct negotiations with the militant organisation that held Woodke, and no ransom or so-called quid pro quo was part of his release.White House National Security spokesperson John Kirby said "There were no concessions made. There were no swaps here. This was just hard, grueling, deliberate work by diplomats and other experts directly with the government of Niger to get him home. Hopefully, I mean, he'll be home soon, but but we're looking forward to that.""We extend our deepest appreciation to the Nigerien government for their help in securing his release. For more than six years, there has been a multipronged effort dedicated to locating and recovering Jeff, which was spearheaded by our military, our law enforcement and our intelligence community working together with French support. Jeff like other hostages and wrongful detainees will be offered the best medical care possible, of course, to include post isolation support. After a full medical screening he will be united with his loved ones in the near future."A senior U.S. official said it was not entirely clear where Woodke was held during his captivity but that he was known to have been in multiple locations and multiple countries.Woodke was released outside of Niger, the senior administration official said, adding that Niger was part of efforts that helped free a second U.S. citizen held by the same network.Kidnappings are a relatively common tactic by Islamist insurgents linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State.