Thu, 17 Oct 2019

Taliban releases 3 Indian engineers

ANI
07 Oct 2019, 19:55 GMT+10

Kabul [Afghanistan], Oct 7 (ANI): The Taliban said they have released three Indian engineers in an exchange of 11 of its members, including some high-ranking officials of the militant group.

Quoting Sayed Mohammad Akbar Agha, a former Taliban commander, Tolo News reported that the prisoner swap happened on Sunday at an undisclosed location.

The engineers held hostage for over a year in the town of Baghlan in northern Afghanistan.

The development comes just days after US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad met the Taliban's top negotiator Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a co-founder of the hardline Taliban movement and head of a Taliban delegation that visited Islamabad last week.

The Taliban said they were in Islamabad to discuss the condition of roughly 1.5 million Afghan refugees living in the city.

Last year in May, the Indian embassy in Kabul had confirmed that seven Indian engineers, all working for the Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) that operates power generating stations, were kidnapped in Baghlan.

No group has claimed responsibility for their abduction.

One of the hostages was released in March, but the fate of the others remains unknown.

The freed Taliban leaders include Sheikh Abdur Rahim and Mawlawi Abdur Rashid, who had served as the insurgent group's governors of Kunar and Nimroz provinces respectively. (ANI)

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