A pair of western journalists detained by Taliban forces in Kabul have been released along with the Afghan nationals working alongside them, the United Nations said Friday.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees announced their release in a Friday afternoon tweet, hours after saying they had been detained. The journalists were working with the organization when they were detained.
“We are relieved to confirm the release in Kabul of the two journalists on assignment with UNHCR, and the Afghan nationals working with them. We are grateful to all who expressed concern and offered help. We remain committed to the people of Afghanistan,” the organization tweeted.
The status of other foreigners the Taliban have detained in Kabul, including one American, was unclear on Friday.
The two journalists detained this week were a British reporter and Irish photographer, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The New York Times reported that Andrew North, a British citizen and former BBC reporter, and ex-journalist Peter Jouvenal, who ran a guesthouse in Kabul, had been detained.
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The Taliban had been holding at least nine foreigners in Kabul, according to The Wall Street Journal. In addition to the two journalists detained this week, seven others have been held in the Afghan capital since December. Six of those are British, and one is American, according to the Journal.
Those detentions are believed to be the first since the U.S. completed its chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan in late August after a two-decade war. As U.S. forces pulled back in the country, Taliban fighters again seized control of Afghanistan, overrunning its government.
President Ashraf Ghani fled the country as Afghan forces put up little resistance against the Taliban. That forced U.S. military officials to work with the Taliban during the withdrawal.
Taliban fighters surrounded the Kabul airport where the evacuation was centered, making it difficult for Americans and others trying to flee the country to get past access points and into the airfield.