Taliban release US, Australian hostages in prisoner swap

Taliban release US, Australian hostages in prisoner swap Taliban release US, Australian hostages in prisoner swap
US citizen Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks were released by the Taliban on Tuesday, three years after being kidnapped, as part of a... Taliban release US, Australian hostages in prisoner swap

Kabul (dpa) – US citizen Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks were released by the Taliban on Tuesday, three years after being kidnapped, as part of a prisoner-swap deal.

“We are so happy to hear that my brother has been freed and is on his way home to us,” King’s sister, Stephanie Miller, said in a statement on behalf of the family.

“This has been a long and painful ordeal for our entire family, and his safe return has been our highest priority. We appreciate the support we have received and ask for privacy as we await Kevin’s safe return.”

King and Weeks were taken by the Taliban in August 2016 while teaching at the American University of Afghanistan.

Both were released in exchange for the conditional release of senior Taliban members being held by the Afghan government. They include Abdul Rashid, Haji Mali Khan, and the younger brother of the notorious Haqqani network leader Sirajuddin Haqqani, Anas Haqqani.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani approved the release of the Taliban prisoners a week ago.

There has been no confirmation yet that the Taliban prisoners have been released.

American University of Afghanistan said it welcomes the news of King and Weeks’ release and “shares the relief of the families.”

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©2019 Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany)

Visit Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany) at www.dpa.de/English.82.0.html

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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