Pakistan Helicopter Crew Released From Taliban

Six crew members from a Pakistani government helicopter that crashed in Afghanistan have been released after being held hostage by the Taliban. The crew, five Pakistanis and one Russian, were reportedly taken hostage by the Afghan Taliban after crashing in a volatile region in Logar province on Aug. 5. In announcing their safe return on Saturday, Pakistani officials didn’t specify who had been holding them, nor how their release had been secured. Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Nafees Zakaria said only that the crew “was released in an inter-tribe exchange on the Pakistan-Afghan border (and) arrived in Islamabad today.” The helicopter had been on its way to Russia for repairs when it crashed in eastern Afghanistan, where it was reportedly set on fire by militants before the crew was taken hostage. All the released hostages are “safe and in good health,” Zakaria said.