WASHINGTON — The Taliban has freed two Western hostages, American Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks, after holding them in captivity for more than three years, a U.S. official and the prime minister of neighboring Pakistan said Tuesday.
A U.S. official with knowledge of the release said the American University of Kabul professors, who were kidnapped at gunpoint in August 2016, were now in U.S. hands. Their health was being evaluated and the two were being debriefed, added the official who was not authorized to speak to the media on the subject.
Taliban sources said the two hostages had been handed over in Zabul province, on the border with Pakistan. The Taliban said ten Afghan soldiers had also been released.
King, the American hostage, was suffering from “serious” and “multiple” health issues, according to a Taliban leader in Zabul province.
“The American teacher was having some serious health problems when we handed him over to the U.S. and Afghan officials,” he added, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.