Four Turkish engineers kidnapped by Afghanistan’s Taliban more than eight months ago were freed overnight, reports said on Sunday.
|The men, taken captive last December in eastern Afghanistan’s Paktia province, were handed to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the neighboring province of Ghazni, as seen by an Agence France-Presse (AFP) reporter in the area.”We were kidnapped by the Taliban eight-and-a-half months ago. We were released on the occasion of the Eid by Ameer-ul Momineen Mullah Mohammad Omar,” one of the captives told AFP, referring to the Taliban leader.Last month, Afghan security forces rescued two Turkish citizens who had been kidnapped in Afghanistan in June.
Criminals and armed bandits as well as Taliban insurgents have kidnapped dozens of foreigners in Afghanistan over the last few years. Most have been freed unharmed, but a few have been killed.
Abduction has become a lucrative business both for militants and criminal groups in recent years in Afghanistan, where violence has reached its highest level since the overthrow of the Taliban government in 2001.
04 September 2011, Sunday / TODAY’S ZAMAN WITH WIRES, İSTANBUL