Three Taliban Leaders Land in Qatar as Part of Prisoner Swap Deal

Published November 19th, 2019 - 12:36 GMT
Former Afghan Taliban fighters hand over their weapons as part of a government reconciliation process in Nangarhar province. (AFP)
Former Afghan Taliban fighters hand over their weapons as part of a government reconciliation process in Nangarhar province. (AFP)
Highlights
Three Taliban have arrived in Qatar as part of a prisoner swap deal.

Three Taliban prisoners have arrived in Qatar as part of a prisoner swap deal with two western hostages, media reported on Tuesday.

"Our three prisoners had been freed on Monday night," a source told The New Arab.

"Soon after their release, they were flown to Doha and handed over to the political office in Qatar."

The two western hostages have been named as American Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks.

Both worked as university professors in the Afghan capital Kabul when they were kidnapped by Taliban militants in August 2016.

They appeared in a hostage video earlier this year and are expected to be released later on Tuesday as part of the swap deal.

In return, Anas Haqqani, a senior figure in the notorious Haqqani network, are expected to be released as part of the deal, as well as two Taliban commanders.

Their earlier release was postponed last week after the Taliban prisoners as part of the swap deal did not arrive in Doha, with the insurgents moving the western hostages to a new location.

It is hoped that the prisoner swap will eventually lead to talks between the Taliban and Kabul government, which the Afghan insurgent group view as an American puppet administration.

The Taliban and Washington have been locked in a near-two decade war after the Americans launched an invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, which was then ruled by the Islamist movement and was hosting Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

The Taliban launched a bloody insurgency against the NATO-led international force, which has led to the death of tens thousands of foreign soldiers, government security forces and civilians.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


Copyright @ 2021 The New Arab.

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