Five British nationals released from detention in Afghanistan after ‘travelling against advice’

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File: A view over Afghan capital Kabul  (AFP/Getty)
File: A view over Afghan capital Kabul (AFP/Getty)

Five British nationals have been released from detention in Afghanistan, the foreign secretary has said.

The individuals travelled to the south Asian nation against the advice of the Foreign Office and were detained by the Taliban.

Liz Truss said they would “soon be reunited with their families” and thanked British diplomats for their role in the release of the prisoners.

The Foreign Office said it “regrets this episode” and apologised to the Afghan government on behalf of the families of those detained for “any breach of Afghan culture, customs or laws”.

A spokesperson said: “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.”

It was not immediately clear who the freed British nationals were or when they were detained by the Taliban but in February the Foreign Office said it was providing support to “a number” of British nationals being held in Afghanistan.

The Foreign Office would not confirm details about the British nationals.

But one British citizen known to have been held in Afghanistan is Peter Jouvenal, a TV cameraman and businessman.

Mr Jouvenal, a British and German dual national, has been held since early December and was visiting the country for business and family reasons, his friends said.

British and American forces pulled out of Afghanistan last summer after 20 years of war in a hasty evacuation coinciding with the forceful return to power of the Taliban.

The new regime has mostly disregarded the democratic structures enforced by the western allies and has been accused of widespread human rights abuses.

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