U.S. confirms release of American engineer from Afghanistan
Updated 20:01, 19-Sep-2022

The United States confirmed the release of American engineer Mark Frerichs in exchange for senior Taliban figure Haji Bashir Noorzai, a senior Biden administration official said on Monday.

The president granted clemency to Haji Bashir after he spent 17 years in U.S. government custody, the official said.

Earlier, a Taliban spokesperson based in Doha said in a tweet that Haji Bashir Noorzai, a senior member of the Taliban, has been released after decades of detention by the United States and arrived in Kabul on Monday.

The Taliban's acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi later told journalists at a media conference in Kabul that the group had released American engineer Mark Frerichs in exchange for the U.S. freeing Haji Bashir on Monday. 

"Today, Mark Frerichs was handed over to the U.S. and Haji Bashar was handed over to us at Kabul airport," he added.

(With input from agencies)

(Cover: Military vehicles run in Mazar-i-Sharif, capital of northern Balkh province, Afghanistan, August 31, 2021. /Xinhua)

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