The Taliban stated they exchanged American engineer Mark Frerichs for the US’s liberating a senior Taliban determine on Monday.
“Today, Mark Frerichs was handed over to the US, and Haji Bashir was handed over to us at Kabul airport,” Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi instructed a press convention in Afghanistan’s capital. Muttaqi stated the alternate occurred “after long negotiations.”
Hours after the Taliban assertion, Frerichs’ household confirmed that he was freed.
The US Navy veteran was working in Afghanistan as a civil engineer on development tasks when he was taken hostage in January 2020.
The US has been pushing for the discharge of Frerichs after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
President Joe Biden, who’s within the UK to attend Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, referred to as Frerichs’ household on Monday morning to share the “good news” that his administration was in a position to safe his launch, based on a senior official.
A sister of Frerichs, who’s from Lombard, Illinois, thanked US authorities officers who helped safe her brother’s launch.
“I am so happy to hear that my brother is safe and on his way home to us. Our family has prayed for this each day of the more than 31 months he has been a hostage. We never gave up hope that he would survive and come home safely to us,” Charlene Cakora stated.
Taliban drug kingpin launched Haji Bashir Noorzai, an Afghan tribal chief, was arrested in 2005 and charged with smuggling over $50 million value of heroin into the United States.
He was convicted and sentenced to life in jail on heroin importation and distribution conspiracy prices.
Noorzai briefly addressed the information convention at a Kabul resort, alongside Muttaqi. “I am proud to be in the capital of my country among my brothers,” he stated.
Mohammad Naeem, a Taliban spokesperson based mostly in Doha, posted an image of him again in Kabul.
محترم حاجي محمد بشر له دوو لسیزو بند ورسته ازاد او نن کابل ته را ورسید pic.twitter.com/XA1ntqQ6VP
— Dr.M.Naeem (@IeaOffice) September 19, 2022
Another Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, instructed the AFP information company that Noorzai held no official place within the Taliban however “provided strong support including weapons” because the hard-line Islamist motion emerged within the Nineties.