Wed, Apr 24, 2013 - Page 6 News List

Afghan Taliban says captives are well

AFP, KABUL

A group of foreigners abducted by Taliban insurgents in eastern Afghanistan are well and have been moved to a “safe area” inside the country, a spokesman for the militants said yesterday.

The Taliban leadership will decide what to do with the group, spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.

Eight Turks, a Russian, a Kyrgyz man and an Afghan were seized after their helicopter made a forced landing on Sunday.

“They have been moved to a safe area, they have no health problems and they are fine. They are inside Afghanistan,” Mujahid said by phone from an undisclosed location.

The Mi-8 helicopter carrying Turkish road engineers landed in Azra District of Logar Province south of Kabul, a hotbed of Taliban activity.

The Taliban on Monday claimed that nine of the group were Americans and two were Afghan interpreters, but appeared yesterday to back away from that assertion.

“We are still receiving information, but initial information obtained from our mujahedeen [holy warriors] said that they were American,” the spokesman said. “We will have to wait for more information.”

Asked what would happen to the group, he said: “The Taliban leadership will decide.”

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