Two Britons had been detained by Darfur rebels in Sudan.
The pair, who operate an aid organization in the western Sudan region were reportedly freed several hours later, according to UN sources in the capital of Khartoum Sunday.
The sources said rebels had "detained" Alistair King-Smith, who is also a British diplomat and his mother on Saturday because they had not been told the two would be in the region.
Al Jazeera said rebels had "kidnapped" two British relief workers in Darfur and the British embassy in Khartoum was negotiating their release.
However, a spokeswoman for the British Foreign Office in London said it was not actually a kidnapping. The mother and son had stayed with the Sudan Liberation Army overnight because it was too dark for them to travel back to their bases, she added. "They are now on their way to safety," she said, adding they had been well treated.