A 10-year-old girl whose kidnapping last month dominated the news in Colombia and drew the attention of the pope has been handed over to the Red Cross, officials said.

Nohora Valentina Muñoz was released turned over to Red Cross officials around 6:00 p.m. Monday and was home a few hours later.

The girl, who is the daughter of Fortul Mayor Jorge Enrique Muñoz, and her mother were abducted on Sept. 29 outside a school in Fortul, a city in Arauca province.

The girl's mother, Pilar Gutierrez, was released by the kidnappers.

The family asked the Red Cross to contact the kidnappers and negotiate the girl's release amid a large security forces deployment and fighting in the area.

The Red Cross requested a cease-fire from the security forces last Friday to open the way for a release, but the girl was not set free.

Nohora Valentina arrived home with her father and they were mobbed by reporters and photographers.

"We are celebrating the release of Nohora Valentina. We thank the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) for its work," President Juan Manuel Santos said in a posting on Twitter.

"They left me on a path, near a road, some peasants found me. They called the Red Cross and I'm here thanks to them," Nohora Valentina told reporters.

The girl said her kidnappers treated her "very well" and "fed me every day."

Officials have not determined who abducted the girl.

Both the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, and National Liberation Army, or ELN, guerrilla groups operate in oil-rich Arauca.

The guerrilla groups, however, said they did not abduct Nohora Valentina.

The kidnapping drew the attention of Pope Benedict XVI, who prayed for the girl's release.

A reward of 100 million pesos ($52,417) was being offered by the government for information on the kidnappears and the girl's location.