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Pakistan Says All Six Helicopter Crew Members Freed By Taliban Arrive Home


Pakistan says that all six crew members of a Pakistani government helicopter taken hostage after it crash-landed in Afghanistan's volatile east have returned to Islamabad following their release by the Taliban.

A senior Pakistani official told AFP that the six crew members -- five Pakistanis and a Russian navigator -- were "safe and in good health" a day after they were reported handed over by the militia.

Russia's presidential envoy for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, said the Russian navigator, Sergei Sevastyanov, will be sent home in the next few days.

News agencies had originally reported the number of the helicopter's crew members as seven people.

The helicopter made an emergency landing on August 4 in Afghanistan's Logar Province while on its way to Russia via Uzbekistan for maintenance. Militants then set the Mi-17 transport helicopter on fire and took the crew to a Taliban-controlled area.

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and AP
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