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WAR: U.N. Hostages in Afghanistan Freed

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posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 07:00 AM
Fresh on the heels of a series of raids launched by U.S. and Afghan forces, comes the word that 3 U.N. hostages have been released by their captors. The three workers Philippine diplomat Angelino Nayan, British-Irish citizen Annetta Flanigan and Shqipe Hebibi of Kosovo had been kidnapped at gunpoint on October 5th. Sources insist that no deal was reached and the captors let the hostages go on their own. The seizing of the hostages had sparked fears that Afghanistan would become plagued by the rash of hostage taking going on in Iraq.
KABUL, Afghanistan - Three U.N. workers kidnapped in Afghanistan four weeks ago were released unharmed Tuesday, a day after a string of raids by U.S. and Afghan security forces.

The release was a relief to foreign aid workers and U.N. staffers among Kabul's 2,000-strong expatriate community, under virtual lockdown since the kidnapping. Large tracts of the country are already off-limits to relief workers because of a stubborn Taliban-led insurgency.

Philippine diplomat Angelito Nayan, British-Irish citizen Annetta Flanigan and Shqipe Hebibi of Kosovo were seized at gunpoint from a U.N. vehicle on Oct. 28 in Kabul.

They were first foreigners abducted in the Afghan capital since the Taliban fell three years ago, and their abductions raised fears that the Afghan capital could become prey to the kind of deadly kidnappings by insurgents that have plagued Iraq.

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There is speculation that the group that kidnapped them was a criminal gang and not a politically motivated entity. However despite democratic elections there remains portions of the country that are off-limits to U.N. workers as they are considered too dangerous. The U.S. needs to root out the remains of the Taliban that are populating the Pakistan border once and for all.


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