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'Taliban' free kidnapped Pakistan envoy to Afghanistan

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Pakistan's envoy to Afghanistan, kidnapped more than three months ago by militants believed to belong to the radical Islamic Taliban movement, has been freed, a Pakistani embassy official said on Saturday.
KABUL, May 17 (RIA Novosti) - Pakistan's envoy to Afghanistan, kidnapped more than three months ago by militants believed to belong to the radical Islamic Taliban movement, has been freed, a Pakistani embassy official said on Saturday.

"I can't give you any details at this moment in time, but I can announce officially that the envoy has been released," said the diplomat.

Tariq Azizuddin was seized in the Khyber tribal border area between Pakistan and Afghanistan in February. In April he was shown surrounded by heavily-armed fighters in a clip aired by the Dubai-based al-Arabiya television. He said on air that he had been abducted by "mujahedeen from the Taliban".

A Taliban spokesman later said that the movement, which ruled most of Afghanistan for five years before it was toppled by U.S.-led forces in 2001, was not responsible for the abduction of the Pakistani envoy.

Azizuddin is said to be in good health. His driver and bodyguard were also kidnapped with him and it is not yet clear if they too have been freed.

Tribal regions on the Pakistan-Afghan border have long been notorious for harboring radical Islamic militants, including the Taliban and a number of 'al-Qaida influenced' groups.

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