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10 Abducted Deminers Released In Afghanistan

A group of Afghan deminers abducted by gunmen in the southeastern province of Khost has been freed.

The deminers from the Kabul-based Mine Detection Center, a local nongovernment group, were abducted on December 9.

The group's director, Shawali Ayobi, told RFE/RL that 10 of the group's deminers were released.

He said one deminer was still being held by the gunmen today.

Ayobi said the release of the deminers was secured with the help of tribal elders, but he insisted that no ransom was paid.

The Khost provincial police chief, Abdul Hakum Ishaqzai, said the deminers were rescued by Afghan and foreign troops.

There was no immediate confirmation from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force about the involvement of ISAF troops in a rescue operation.

RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan, with agency reports