Former journalist Peter Jouvenal among five British citizens released in Afghanistan

“We are very happy that Peter is returning home. Thanks to the Afghan administration for his release,” Syed said on Monday.

Juvenal was detained by the Taliban in mid-December. According to his wife, he was in Afghanistan on business. Along with four other British citizens, he was held by the Taliban for six months.

Juvenal previously owned the Gandamack Lodge in the Afghan capital Kabul, popular with journalists, aid workers and diplomats, which opened in 2002 after the overthrow of the Taliban by US forces. It closed in 2014.

Jouvenal filmed a CNN interview with Osama bin Laden in 1997. He covered the wars in Afghanistan after the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Earlier Monday, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss announced that the government had secured the release of five British citizens detained in Afghanistan.

“Soon they will be reunited with their families. I am grateful to the British diplomats for the hard work aimed at achieving such a result,” she said.

However, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) did not mention the identity of British citizens in its statement.

Earlier Monday, the FCDO said in a statement that the British citizens’ trip to Afghanistan was a “mistake”, adding that they went there against government advice and apologized for any violation of Afghan culture or laws.

“The UK Government regrets this episode,” the FCDO said in a statement.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid confirmed the release of five British citizens on Monday.

“A number of British citizens involved in activities contrary to the laws and traditions of the Afghan people were detained about six months ago,” Mujahid wrote on his official Twitter account.

“After repeated negotiations and meetings between the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the British side, they were released yesterday and handed over to their country in accordance with the agreement.”

The detained citizens “sworn to abide by the laws of Afghanistan, the traditions and culture of the people, and will no longer violate them,” said Mujahid, who also said that Afghanistan is a safe place.

“Afghanistan is safe for everyone, anyone can come to Afghanistan for charity and tourism,” he said.

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