Kabul: The Afghan Taliban on Monday confirmed that it has freed at least three Indians it took as hostage in exchange for the release of its 11 Taliban members, including important leaders. The freed Afghan Taliban includes prominent leaders Sheikh Abdul Rahim and Maulvi Abdur Rashid. Both these leaders had served as governors of Kunar and Nimroz provinces respectively during the Taliban administration before the US-led administration in 2001.
The prisoners' swap was done in the wee hours on Sunday, i.e. October 6, at an undisclosed location. Although the news has been confirmed by Sayed Mohammad Akbar Agha on Sunday, it is yet to be confirmed by the Afghan government.
At least seven Indian engineers were taken hostage about six months ago in May in Afghanistan's Baghlan province. The abducted Indians were employees at power plant KEC in Baghlan. While one of the abducted engineers was released early this year and has returned to India, the fate of the other three remains unknown.
Meanwhile, the Indian government has also not been notified of the release of Indian engineers. The Indian government sources maintain that they are in touch with the Afghanistan government as reports of the release have brought to their notice.