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Indian engineers, Taliban freed under swap deal

Indian engineers, Taliban freed under swap deal

Oct 07, 2019 - 11:42

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Talibaninfo-icon say they have freed three Indian engineers the fighters had captured in northern Baghlan province last year, a media report said on Monday.

In exchange for the Indians, the US military in Afghanistaninfo-icon freed 11 Taliban prisoners from the Bagram detention facility in central Parwan province.

The engineers, working at a power station, were kidnapped in Bagh-i-Shamal village near Pul-i-Khumri in May 2018. One of them was released earlier this year.

The Indians were freed days after a delegation from Taliban’s political office in Qatar visited Islamabad for talks on the Afghan peace process, according to the Associated Press.

However, the Indian and Afghan governments are yet to confirm or deny the release of the Indian nationals in line with a prisoner swap deal.

AP quoted unnamed Taliban sources as acknowledging the release of several of the group's members, including former governors.

Ex-governors for Kunar and Nimroz provinces -- Sheikh Abdul Rahim and Maulviinfo-icon Rashid -- were among the insurgents released, the Taliban said.

Azizur Rahman, also known as Ehsanullah, a nephew of Taliban deputy chief Sirajuddin Haqqani, was also freed, a Pakistani newspaper reported.

A source in the militant movement said the Taliban leaders were released in exchange for the Indian engineers.

Pakistaninfo-icon, meanwhile, has been pushing for the release of an American and an Australian professor, who were kidnapped by Taliban in Kabul in 2016.

An understanding has reportedly been reached that the professors would be exchanged with a group of Taliban inmates, including Anas Haqqani, brother of Siraj Haqqani.

The prisoner exchange issue figured at last week’s meeting in Islamabad between the Taliban and US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, according to the Pakistan Tribune.

PANinfo-icon Monitor/mud

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