43 residents of Ghazni, taken hostage by Taliban, released

Kabul : Forty-three residents of Khwaja Omri district in the southern Afghan province of Ghazni, who were abducted by the Taliban two days ago, have been released following mediation by tribal elders, the provincial governor’s office said on Sunday.

Last month, at least six media persons, working for private and government media organisations here, were abducted by the Taliban in Zurmat district in the eastern Afghan province of Paktia.

Quoting sources, Tolo News reported that the journalists, working for radio and TV news companies that broadcast news in Pashto and Dari languages, were abducted while travelling to Paktia to attend a media workshop on Friday.

The terror group has reportedly claimed that it kidnapped the journalists “mistakenly” and promised to release them soon.

The incidents have come at a time when US President Donald Trump called off peace negotiations with the Taliban after the group claimed responsibility for the Kabul car bombing which killed 12 people, including an American soldier.

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad met Taliban leader in Pakistan this week. Regarding the meeting on Thursday that lasted for more than an hour, Kabul has said that talks in Islamabad between a Taliban delegation and Pakistani authorities were about the release of two hostages and not on the resumption of the peace process, Tolo News reported.