9 December 2019

Taliban releases American, Australian in prisoner swap

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The Taliban on Tuesday freed two hostages, an American and Australian, in a prisoner swap for three senior Taliban leaders. reports citing NR that Kevin C. King, the American, and Timothy J. Weeks were teachers at the American University in Kabul when they were abducted in 2016 in an attack that left 13 others dead. King and Weeks to be in good health, a senior Trump administration official told the New York Times.

Their release was partly negotiated by American peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who was involved in negotiations with the Taliban this summer for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Those negotiations were stopped by President Trump after a car bomb attack killed an American soldier.

Insurgent leaders Anas Haqqani, Hafiz Abdul Rashid and Hajji Mali Khan were released to the Taliban political office in Doha, Qatar, according to the Trump administration official. Haqqani was a prominent fundraiser and propagandist for the Taliban, while Rashid has equipped and coordinated suicide bombers.

2019.11.19 / 17:59
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