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Afghan Taliban frees 3 Indian hostages in exchange for 11 militants

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team Kabul, Kabol, Afghanistan Oct 08, 2019, 01.05 PM (IST)

The Afghan Taliban on Monday confirmed that it has freed at least three Indians it took as a hostage in exchange for the release of its 11 Taliban members, including important leaders. 

The engineers, working at a power station, were abducted by the Taliban in May last year.

They were part of a group of seven people who had been abducted from a village located in the northern Baghlan Province of Afghanistan.

The prisoner swap was done in the early hours of Sunday at an undisclosed location.

This prisoner exchange comes after a meeting between US special envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad and the Taliban leaders.

The United States and the Taliban — which returned to the negotiating table for talks hosted by Pakistan — had agreed to swap prisoners.

The freed Afghan Taliban includes prominent leaders like Sheikh Abdul Rahim and Maulvi Abdur Rashid.

India's foreign ministry had earlier thanked the Afghan government for the release and repatriation of the Indian nationals.

Apart from the three Indians, one Australian and one US citizen will also be released.