Three Indian engineers who were taken hostage approximately six months ago in Baghlan province have been freed in exchange for 11 Taliban prisoners, including leaders, from Bagram prison on Sunday, Sayed Mohammad Akbar Agha, a former Taliban commander confirmed.
It is assumed the three Indians were part of a group of seven engineers abducted from Afghanistan’s northern Baghlan province in May 2018. The engineers were working on power projects run by the Afghan government.
The exchange of the three Indian engineers for the Taliban prisoners was done on early Sunday, following which the Taliban prisoners were reportedly freed from Bagram airbase. The released engineers have reportedly been handed over to Indian authorities.
Reports suggested the swap of the hostages and Taliban prisoners is the result of talks in Islamabad between a Taliban delegation and US special representative Zalmay Khalilzad, the first contact between the two sides since peace talks between them collapsed last month.
Earlier, the Afghan Taliban told RFE/RL website that they had released three Indian hostages in exchange for 11 Taliban members, including Sheikh Abdur Rahim and Mawlawi Abdur Rashid, who served as governors of Kunar and Nimroz provinces under the Taliban regime.