Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Taliban releases U.S. citizen in prisoner swap

Afghan authorities confirmed the release of a U.S. civil engineer in exchange for an Afghan druglord sentenced to life imprisonment by a U.S. court.

• September 19, 2022
Mark Frerichs
Mark Frerichs [Photo Credit: BBC]

Afghan authorities on Monday confirmed the release of a U.S. civil engineer in exchange for an Afghan druglord sentenced to life imprisonment by a U.S. court.

The U.S. national, Mark Frerichs, disappeared in Afghanistan in 2020.

Speaking at a press conference, Taliban Foreign Minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, said the swap of the famous drug dealer, Bashir Noorzai, for Mr Frerichs took place with a U.S. delegation in Kabul’s airport.

The U.S. authorities have not commented on the prisoner swap yet.

It was suspected for a long time that Mr Frerichs was abducted by the Haqqanis, a notorious network within the Taliban, who demanded the release of Mr Noorzai.

Mr Noorzai was a financial supporter of the Taliban during their first period in power in the 1990s but was hired as an undercover agent on behalf of the U.S. government in the early 2000s.

He was arrested in 2005 in the U.S. for heroin smuggling and sentenced to life in prison.

After his release, Mr Noorzai was welcomed by the Taliban’s notorious GDI intelligence forces with flowers at Kabul airport. Later he spoke at a televised event at a grand hotel in the city.

Mr Noorzai said he was in prison for more than 17 years, and his release would have been impossible without the Taliban’s efforts.

He also hoped that his release would bring the relations between the Taliban in Kabul and Washington closer.

The Taliban has a history of hostage-taking in return for ransom or other political aims.

In June, five British nationals being held by the Taliban in Afghanistan were released from detention.

Simultaneously, London announced it did not support anyone seeking to achieve political change through violence in Afghanistan. 

(dpa/NAN)

We have recently deactivated our website's comment provider in favour of other channels of distribution and commentary. We encourage you to join the conversation on our stories via our Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages.

More from Peoples Gazette

Adams Oshiomhole Photo Credit Channels

Politics

Oshiomhole says Buhari “huge electoral asset” to Tinubu after detaching campaign from regime’s failures

Mr Oshiomhole said Mr Buhari will garner support for the APC presidential candidate across the country.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu [Credit: BAT]

Heading 2

2023: Tinubu warns Nigerians against voting ‘another mistake’ into power

Mr Tinubu urged the people to be “wise and discerning” as they prepared to choose the country’s next president, in the 2023 general election.

Karim Benzema

Sport

I want more, Benzema says after picking hattrick awards in one day 

Benzema won the La Liga Santander Pichichi Trophy, Di Stefano Trophy and the Hyundai Supporters’ MVP Trophy.

Tinubu Support Group

Politics

Tinubu, Shettima absent as support groups flag off APC presidential campaign in Abuja

Majority of Tinubu Support Organisations thronged the venue in their numbers bearing all manners of placards and banners.

Hot news Home top

Trigger-happy naval operatives open fire on journalist, humanitarian workers on Ondo waterways

The journalists and the officials were on their way from a free medical outreach in the riverine communities when they were attacked at Odofado.

Atiku Abubakar (Credit: AA)

Politics

Atiku calls for unity among PDP stakeholders for success in 2023

He promised to address Nigeria’s numerous challenges, if eventually elected as Nigeria’s president in 2023.