Dhaka: Five Bangladeshi construction
workers kidnapped in Afghanistan last December were on Tuesday
freed by their captors, Dhaka`s foreign minister said.
The Afghan government, with help from local village
elders, negotiated the freedom of the workers seven months
after they were abducted from their road-building camp near
the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif.
"They are in good health and will be flown back home
in seven or eight days," Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Dipu
Moni said, adding that no ransom had been paid.
One Bangladeshi engineer was killed and seven workers
were taken hostage when gunmen stormed the remote construction
camp run by a South Korean firm between the northern Afghan
provinces of Balkh and Samangan.
Two of the workers were freed two days later.
Moni said it was not clear who had abducted the
Bangladeshi workers but said it "could be" the Taliban.
Afghan police officials have blamed the Taliban for
the incident but the insurgent group has denied involvement in
Criminal groups and insurgents have kidnapped dozens
of foreigners in Afghanistan since the Taliban regime was
ousted in 2001. Most have been released unharmed, often after
payment of ransoms.