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Taliban frees 4 Turkish engineers,

By Haris Afzal on Sunday, September 4, 2011 with 0 comments

Taliban spokesman said that the captives were released on the occasion of Eid.

Four Turkish engineers kidnapped by Taliban more than eight months ago were freed overnight, their abductors and officials said.

The men, taken captive last December in eastern Afghanistan s Paktia province, were handed to the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) in the neighboring province of Ghazni, reported a news agency.

"We were kidnapped by the Taliban eight and a half months ago. We re released on the occasion of the Eid by Ameer-ul Momineen Mullah Mohammad Omar," one of the captives said, referring to the Taliban leader.

The Turk, who gave his name only as Imam, said "no ransom was paid" and "we were not tortured" while in captivity, before being rushed to Ghazni city.

Authorities refused to give details but Haji Zahir, a Ghazni province tribal elder who facilitated the release, said that the Taliban freed the four "only on the occasion of Eid."

Eid al-Fitr is a major Muslim festival which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. The release of prisoners at this time is an Afghan tradition.

"Yes we freed the four Turkish engineers on the occasion of the Eid," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed said.

Turkey has hundreds of military troops operating under the US-led NATO force in Afghanistan, in a deadly decade-long conflict.

Category: Latest News , World News



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