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Good news?

Sunday, May 20, 2007 by Marianne Elliott

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Okay – I know I said that I wouldn't be writing about Afghanistan for a few weeks, but this report gave me a glimmer of hope on a story that had been previously feeling very hopeless so I couldn't resist sharing it. Let's all hope for the best, this story could still have a happy ending for the three Afghan staff of Terre d'Enfance and their families.

*Taliban hint at release of abducted Afghans*

May 20 – The Taliban on Saturday said they were going to release the three abducted Afghan staffers of the French-funded NGO, Children's Land. (Outlook Afghanistan)

Speaking to Pajhwok Afghan News over the telephone from an undisclosed location, Taliban purported spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi said they would release the three Afghans soon.

Two French – a man and a woman – and three Afghan workers of the Children's Land were kidnapped while traveling on the Nimroz-Farah highway on April 4.

The two French were set free by the militants on by one on April 28 and May 11. However, release of the Afghan workers was withheld saying their fate would be decided by the Taliban shura.

As their initial demand, Taliban had asked the French government to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.

They released the French woman saying it was a gesture of goodwill from the militants towards the government and people of France. The man was also freed later by the rebels, saying they had received some positive gestures from the president-elect Nicholas Sarkozay about the change in France policy on Afghanistan.

Earlier, the militants were widely condemned for their killing of an Afghan journalist Ajmal Naqshbandi. He was kidnapped along with Italian journalist Danielle Mastrogiacomo. The Italian man was swapped with five Taliban prisoners; however, the Afghan journalist was beheaded later.

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2 Responses to "Good news?"

  1. homeinkabul says:

    I’m so glad you brought this up, I’ve been too upset about this to even discuss it again. I felt like banging my head into a wall.

  2. Paris Parfait says:

    I’m so hopeful they are released soon. The hostage situation has been a very big deal in France, which hasn’t stopped being in the limelight, just because the French hostages were released. As for Sarkozy, well who knows what he might do? But kidnapping aid workers and journalists never helps any faction’s situation. Sigh.

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