Former journalist Peter Juvenal among five British citizens to be released in Afghanistan

“We are excited that Peter is coming home. “We thank the Afghan administration for releasing him,” Sayed said Monday.

Juvenal was detained by the Taliban in mid-December. According to his wife, he was on a business visit to Afghanistan. He, along with four other British nationals, was held by the Taliban for six months.

Juvenal previously owned Gandamack Lodge, a hotel in the Afghan capital, Kabul, popular with journalists, aid workers and diplomats, which opened in 2002 after the Taliban were ousted by US forces. It was closed in 2014.

Juvenal filmed CNN’s interview with Osama bin Laden in 1997. It covers the wars in Afghanistan after the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Earlier on Monday, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss announced that the government had secured the release of five British citizens detained in Afghanistan.

“They will soon be reunited with their families. I am grateful for the hard work of British diplomats to ensure this result,” she said.

However, the United Kingdom’s Office for Foreign Affairs, Community and Development (FCDO) did not mention the identities of British citizens in its statement.

Earlier on Monday, the FCDO said in a statement that the trip of British citizens to Afghanistan was a “mistake”, adding that they had gone there against government advice and apologized for any violations of Afghan culture or laws.

Taliban-held Afghan US naval reservist returns home in first post-release interview

“The UK government regrets this episode,” the FCDO said.

Taliban spokesman Zabiula Mujahid confirmed the release of five British citizens on Monday.

“Many British citizens who took part in activities contrary to the laws and traditions of the Afghan people were detained about six months ago,” Mujahid wrote in his official Twitter account.

“After repeated talks and meetings between the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the British side, yesterday they were released and handed over to their country according to an agreement.

The detainees have “committed themselves to abiding by Afghanistan’s laws, traditions and culture, and will not violate them again,” said Mujahid, who also said Afghanistan was a safe place.

“Afghanistan is safe for everyone, anyone can come to Afghanistan for charity and tourism,” he said.

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