News Karnataka
Thursday, September 29 2022

Islamabad: Taliban free last American hostage in Afghanistan in prisoner swap

Afghanistan in prisoner swap
Photo Credit : IANS

Islamabad: The Taliban on Monday freed Mark Frerichs, the only American hostage remaining in Afghanistan, in exchange for a Taliban drug lord, Bashir Noorzai, who was serving life sentence at a US prison, media reports said.

Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi told reporters in Kabul that the prisoner swap between his government and a US delegation took place at the Kabul airport.

Frerichs, the nearly 60-year-old American engineer and Navy veteran, was abducted in Kabul in early 2020 when the US and NATO troops were battling the then Taliban insurgency in support of the Western-backed Afghan government.

Noorzai, known as Haji Bashir, was arrested in New York in 2005 and subsequently charged with trafficking heroin worth millions of dollars into the US. The top Taliban associate reportedly helped fund and arm the insurgents with proceeds from heroin trafficking, VOA reported.

Muttaqi described the prisoner swap as “unprecedented in the history of Afghanistan” and said it was the outcome of a long negotiation process between the Taliban and the US. He said until now, prisoner swaps between the two former adversaries would take place outside Afghanistan.

“This morning at 10 am, the American citizen was handed over to an American team at the Kabul airport and Haji Bashir was handed over to the Islamic Emirate,” Muttaqi said, using the official name for the Taliban government.

Noorzai’s lawyer had denied his client was a drug lord and argued the charges against him should be dismissed because U.S. officials duped him into believing he would not be arrested, VOA reported.

International forces completely withdrew from the country in August of last year after almost two decades of war with the Taliban, paving the way for the resurgent Islamist group to seize power.

Share this:
Support NewsKarnataka's quality independent journalism with a small contribution.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Visit 7Jackpots and find the best online casinos in India! Play the most popular casino games for real money!

Find the best odds at 10Cric and ipl betting 2021! Signup today and get up to a 100% deposit bonus.

To get the latest news on WhatsApp