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    6 abducted tribal elders freed in Kunar

    ASADABAD (PAN): Six out of 18 tribal elders kidnapped by the Taliban in eastern Kunar province have been freed, officials said on Tuesday.

    The six were released on Monday night with the help of the tribal community council, the provincial police chief, Brig Gen. Khalilullah Ziayie, said.

    The Taliban had accused the elders of allowing their children to work for Afghan and international security forces.

    Efforts were being made for the release of other tribal elders, Ziayie said.

    Gul Haleem, a tribal elder, said the Taliban had some conditions for the release of the six, such as they should not allow their children to work for Afghan or international security forces.

    “Now it is up to the people, whether to accept the Taliban conditions or not,” he said.

    The tribal elders were kidnapped by a local Taliban commander by the name of Qari Ziaurrahman, Haleem said. The Taliban have promised to release the rest of the hostages soon, he said.

    Qari Sajjad, who introduced himself as Ziaurrahman’s deputy, said the only reason for abducting the tribal elders was because their children were working with Afghan and foreign forces.

    “We have no dispute with tribal elders and the society. We will not hurt them if they do not let their youth work with government and foreign forces.”