Taliban to release remaining Turks 'soon'- UPDATED

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahed said release of another four Turks was intended as a "goodwill gesture"

Taliban to release remaining Turks 'soon'- UPDATED

World Bulletin/News Desk

A Taliban spokesman says four remaining Turks held by the group will be released shortly.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahed said via an email statement that the recent release of another four Turks was intended as a "goodwill gesture" and "soon" the remaining four Turks still in their possession would also be freed.

"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan anticipates that the Turkish government will reciprocally express its goodwill," the Taliban said in an English-language statement.

They said the release of the remaining four Turks "in the near future" would "result in bringing the Afghan and Turkish Muslim masses closer to each other".

Two pilots from Russia and Kyrgyzstan were also aboard the Russian-made Mi-8 helicopter when poor weather forced it to land near the Pakistani border on April 21. They are alive and currently "under investigation and interrogation", Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters.

"Once that is complete, we will decide on their fate," Mujahid said of the Russian-Kyrgyz pair.

Four of the eight Turkish citizens kidnapped in Afghanistan on April 21 were handed over to the Turkish Embassy in Kabul on Sunday.      

Turkey's Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoglu announced on Twitter on Sunday that four of eight Turkish citizens that were abducted in Afghanistan on April 21 were handed over to Turkish Embassy in Kabul.      

"Four of eight citizens of Turkey that we had been monitoring their conditions in Afghanistan closely were handed over to Turkish Embassy in Kabul short time ago" Davutoglu wrote in his message.      

He passed "get well soon" message to those citizens as well as their families and added that efforts had been continuing for release of the remaining four Turkish citizens in Afghanistan.      

Davutoglu said he spoke with one of the survivors, Erkan Kaya, and he was in good condition.      

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Sunday those four Turkish citizens were rescued upon the initiative of Turkish Intelligence Service (MIT).      

Later on, sources at Prime Ministry said that Nurettin Kostur, Erkan Kaya, Abdulbaki Arslanhan ve Milayim Celik were set free as of Sunday.      

They were kidnapped by Taliban in Logar province of Afghanistan on April 21, along with four other Turkish citizens after their helicopter made an emergency landing in an area under control of Taliban in Afghanistan.

 

Last Mod: 13 Mayıs 2013, 17:08
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