Afghanistan based Militants free 17 tribesmen kidnapped five months ago from Khyber Agency

By Mehrab Afridi

LANDI KOTAL: Seventeen tribesmen, abducted by Pakistani Taliban five months back, returned to their homes from Afghanistan late on Friday evening.

While Talking to Tribal News Network, the Assistant political Agent (APA) Landi Kotal Niaz Muhammad confirmed the recovery of the abducted tribesmen saying that all of them were in stable condition and had been handed over to their families in Gagra and Adalkhad localities of Landi Kotal.

Afghanistan based Pakistani Taliban abducted eighteen tribesmen from a hilly area close to Afghan border on September 4 last year and shifted them across the border in Afghanistan. The tribesmen had gone to the area for picnic and also for cleaning a natural spring which provided drinking water to their houses.

One of the abducted man succeeded in fleeing from the captivity of Taliban the same day they were abducted and informed the tribal elders and Shinwari tribes of the abduction of 17 tribesmen.

However, Niaz Muahmmad declined to share details of exact location where the administration received kidnapped men after their release by Taliban. “We will share all the details on Saturday (today)”, he said.

Jamatul Ahrar, a splinter group of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, which is operating from Nangrahar province of Afghanistan later claimed responsibility of the abduction and demanded a huge amount as ransom.

A group of 17 tribesmen released by Taliban reaches APA office in Landikotal tehsil of Khyber Agency. Photo by author.

Several rounds of talks were held between militants and the relatives of abducted tribesmen, but, the former refused to abductees without payment of ransom.

However, it could not be ascertained wether the tribesmen were released against payment of ransom or without any deal.

They were identified as Ajmal, Kamran, Rahatullah, Wasif, Shafiullah, Abdullah, Abdul Wahid,Ayazullah,Bismillah, Abu Bakar,Hazrat Noor, Naik Noor, Ayub Khan, Muslim Shah, Zahirullah, Bashir and Ikram Saeed.


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