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Afghan Taliban say foreign captives are ‘safe`

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 13:25

Kabul: A group of foreigners abducted by Taliban insurgents in eastern Afghanistan are well and have been moved to a "safe area" inside the country, a spokesman for the militants said Tuesday.

The Taliban leadership will decide what to do with the group, spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP. Eight Turks, a Russian, a Kyrgyz man and an Afghan were seized after their helicopter made a forced landing on Sunday.

"They have been moved to a safe area, they have no health problem and they are fine. They are inside Afghanistan," Mujahid said by phone from an undisclosed location.

The Mi-8 helicopter carrying Turkish road engineers landed in Azra district of Logar province south of Kabul, a hotbed of Taliban activity.

The Taliban on Monday claimed that nine of the group were Americans and two were Afghan interpreters, but appeared Tuesday to back away from that assertion.

"We are still receiving information but initial information obtained from our mujahedeen (holy warriors) said that they were American," the spokesman said. "We will have to wait for more information."

Asked what would happen to the group, he said: "The Taliban leadership will decide."


First Published: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 11:21
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