Five Britons held captive by the Taliban are freed

Five Britons held captive by the Taliban are freed: UK government apologises for ‘any breach of Afghan culture, customs or laws’ and says it ‘regrets this episode’

Five Britons held captive in Afghanistan by the Taliban have been freed. 

The group had travelled to the Central Asian state ‘against travel advice’ the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said. 

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the nationals would ‘soon be reunited with their families’ and praised ‘the hard work of British diplomats to secure this outcome.’ 

It was not immediately clear who the captives were or when they were detained by the Taliban but in February the foreign ministry said they were providing support to ‘a number’ of British nationals being held in Afghanistan. 

Among those detained was distinguished British journalist Peter Jouvenal, 64, who was arrested in Kabul late last year.

A FCDO spokesperson said: ‘We welcome and appreciate the release by the current administration of Afghanistan of five British nationals who were detained in Afghanistan.

‘These British nationals had no role in the UK Government‘s work in Afghanistan and travelled to Afghanistan against the UK Government’s travel advice. This was a mistake.

‘On behalf of the families of the British nationals, we express their apologies for any breach of Afghan culture, customs or laws, and offer their assurance of future good conduct.

‘The UK Government regrets this episode.’

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss tweeted: ‘Pleased the UK has secured the release of 5 British nationals detained in Afghanistan. 

‘They will soon be reunited with their families. I am grateful for the hard work of British diplomats to secure this outcome.’

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