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US confirms freed Taliban hostages on German soil

AFP
Frankfurt am Main
Two Western hostages held for three years by the Taliban in Afghanistan landed in Germany on Thursday after a prisoner exchange two days earlier, a US diplomat confirmed.
American Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks landed overnight at the US Air Force’s Ramstein airbase in western Germany, and will be staying nearby “for a period of evaluation and reintegration”, the US official said.
King and Weeks, both professors at the American University in Kabul, were kidnapped by gunmen wearing military uniforms in the heart of the Afghan capital in August 2016.
American ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell told Fox News he had greeted the former hostages off the plane and handed King a US flag.
“It’s one of the most emotional things that I get to do... to represent (President Donald Trump) and the American people and have this moment with a freed hostage where I say, we never forgot about you,” Grenell said.
He added that the exchange was a sign of “the power of diplomacy”, and thanked the Afghan government for its role in the swap for three high-ranking insurgent prisoners.

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