The State Department announced that the Taliban had released two Americans who were in custody in Afghanistan as a “gesture of goodwill”.

“We can welcome the release of two Americans, two US citizens, from custody in Afghanistan,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters on Tuesday. Price added: “We are providing these two US citizens with all appropriate assistance.”

Two US citizens were reportedly flying from Afghanistan to Qatar Tuesday, where they were to be reunited with their families.


Press Secretary of the US State Department, Ned Price
(Manuel Balce Ceneta/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

For now US officials While the identities of the two freed Americans have not been released, VOA reported Tuesday that one of the Americans is believed to be Ivor Shearer, a U.S. citizen and journalist who was arrested by the Taliban along with his Afghan colleague in August while filming the scene of an American bombing that killed him. al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Price said no money was exchanged when the prisoners were released, which he described as a “goodwill gesture” from the Taliban.

“We understand that, or at least the Taliban are characterizing it to us as a goodwill gesture,” Price said.

Taliban soldiers stand guard in Panjshir province in northeastern Afghanistan.

Taliban soldiers stand guard in Panjshir province in northeastern Afghanistan.
(AP Photo/Mohammad Asif Khan)


But Price also noted the timing of the release, saying it came just after the US condemned the Taliban’s announcement on Tuesday that women would be banned from private and public universities.

“The irony is that they’re making a gesture of goodwill to us on a day when they’re making that gesture to the Afghan people, we didn’t miss it,” Price said.

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