7:41 pm - Saturday November 7, 2015

Taliban frees 24 Afghan hostages

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TALIBAN militants have released 24 hostages who were seized in northeastern Afghanistan last week, an official says.

Taliban fighters captured Yamgan, a remote mountainous district in Badakhshan province on Wednesday, and took 40 policemen hostage.

Police recaptured the area on Friday.

“Tribal elders negotiated with Taliban and freed 24 hostages, most of who are policemen, but held three senior ranked officials,” said Nawid Frotan, the governor spokesman for Badakhshan province.

Earlier, Fazluddin Ayyar, the provincial police chief said that 15 policemen were freed in Friday’s operation.

Frotan said that the three senior ranked officials were a district police chief, a district prison chief and a member of the secret service.

The Taliban have launched their spring offensive, targeting Afghan and NATO troops, and government employees.

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