German Hostage Freed, Timor Shah “Escapes”

The German hostage and other in Afghanistan have been freed with the release of six Taliban, but at what price? What has me wondering is this story that appeared the day before the release of the mysterious “escape” of Timor Shah, terrorist leader.

from e-Ariana on the hostages freed:

KABUL – A German engineer and four Afghans taken hostage in July were freed Wednesday in exchange for six Taliban fighters, an Afghan official said.

Rudolf Blechschmidt and the four Afghans were handed over by local elders to officials from Afghanistan’s intelligence service in the Jaghato district of Wardak province, said the district chief, Mohammad Nahim.

Six detained Taliban militants had been freed in the swap, he said.

In Germany, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier confirmed that Blechschmidt had been freed, and the former captive told Spiegel magazine on his release that he was “doing well.”

“I’m just a little tired,” he told the magazine in a short telephone interview posted on its Web site.

Blechschmidt had also talked with the German ambassador by telephone and confirmed he was safely in the custody of Afghan security forces, Steinmeier said in a statement.

“We are all pleased and relieved,” Steinmeier said.

The release comes just two days after Blechschmidt appeared on a new videotape, appealing to Afghan and German governments to make a deal with the militants for his release before winter.

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