According to a media report on Monday, the Afghan Taliban said it has released three Indian engineers held hostage for over a year in an exchange to secure the release of 11 of its leaders, including some senior terrorist group officials.
The prisoner swap occurred on Sunday, two Taliban officials were quoted by The Express Tribune as saying, but the location was not announced.
The Taliban authorities spoke out on anonymity basis, citing what they described as the delicate nature of the issue, the paper cited a report from RFE / RL.
The officials declined to say whether Afghan officials or U.S. troops in Afghanistan kept the released Taliban leaders.
The officials said “the freed Taliban leaders include Sheikh Abdur Rahim and MawlawiAbdur Rashid, who had served as the insurgent group’s governors of Kunar and Nimroz provinces respectively during the Taliban administration before it was deposed by the US-led forces in 2001.”
After their release, the Taliban officials provided an image and video of what they said was the released terrorists being welcomed. Afghan and Indian officials have not made any immediate statements.
In May 2018, seven Indian engineers working for a power plant in the northern Baghlan Province of Afghanistan were kidnapped. No group took responsibility for their abduction. In March one of the hostages was released, but the other’s fate remains unknown.