The Taliban released a French female hostage yesterday ending
her ordeal since she was kidnapped on April 3 near Kandahar in
southern Afghanistan along with four colleagues. A Taliban
spokesman described the act as "a good gesture" toward the French
The woman was handed over to tribal elders in Panjwai district
as "a good gesture" toward the French people, Taliban spokesman
Yousuf Ahmadi told Xinhua by satellite phone from an undisclosed
He added that no prisoner exchange took place to release the
Taliban militants kidnapped the woman, a French man and their
three Afghan employees in the southern Nimroz province on April 3.
All of them are employees of Terre d'enfance (Children's Land), an
NGO assisting children.
In exchange for their release, the Taliban has demanded the
withdrawal of all French troops from Afghanistan and the freeing of
specific Taliban prisoners.
Afghan authorities have ruled out any possibility of freeing
prisoners, while the French government reminded the Taliban on
Friday that its troops are not for the long term.
As to the fate of the other four hostages, the Taliban spokesman
stated "we still hold them and would force the Afghan and French
governments to meet our demands."
(Xinhua News Agency April 29, 2007)