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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Teddy Bear Teacher Pardoned

KHARTOUM, Sudan -- A British teacher jailed after she allowed her students to name a teddy bear Muhammad was released Monday, hours after Sudan's president pardoned her, a British Embassy spokesman said.

Spokesman Omar Daair said Gillian Gibbons was in "British Embassy custody," but he would not give her exact location or say when she would leave Sudan, citing security reasons.

Earlier Monday, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir pardoned Gibbons after two British Muslim politicians from the House of Lords met with him to plea for her release.

The pardon put an end to a case that has outraged Britons and Muslims around the world. In a written statement released by the presidential palace and read by Baroness Sayeeda Warsi to reporters, Gibbons, 54, said she was sorry if she caused any "distress."

"I have a great respect for the Islamic religion and would not knowingly offend anyone," Gibbons, who was sentenced Thursday, said in the statement.

"I am looking forward to seeing my family and friends, but I am very sorry that I will be unable to return to Sudan," the statement read.

Lord Nazir Ahmed, who met with Bashir along with Warsi, said the case was an "unfortunate misunderstanding" and stressed that Britain respected Islam.

He hoped that "the relations between our two countries will not be damaged by this incident," Ahmed said.