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Afghanistan: Taliban detains three British men, says report

Two of them were reportedly arrested on January 11


Three British men have been detained by the Taliban in Afghanistan, a report said.

The detainees were identified as charity medic Kevin Cornwell, a controversial traveller Miles Routledge, and an unidentified UK national who manages a hotel in Kabul. Reuters quoting a spokesperson of Britain's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said, "We are working hard to secure consular contact with British nationals detained in Afghanistan and we are supporting families." 

However, the foreign office reportedly did not confirm details of British nationals.

Al Jazeera reported that a non-profit organization Presidium Network is assisting two of the detainees. The publication quoted Scott Richards of the Presidium Network as saying, “We believe they are in good health and being well treated. We have no reason to believe they’ve been subject to any negative treatment such as torture, and we’re told that they are as good as can be expected in such circumstances.” 

The NGO said they were arrested in relation to a misunderstanding over a licensed weapon in Cornwell’s room. The two Britishers were reportedly detained by the Taliban on January 11.

BBC quoted Richards as saying, that the weapon was stored with a licence issued by the Afghan interior ministry. "That license is missing. But, we have taken several statements from witnesses who have seen the licence and affirm its existence,” BBC quoted Richards as saying. "It is perfectly possible that during the search the licence was separated from the weapon and, as such, why we refer to this scenario as a probable misunderstanding," Richards told the publication.

UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman reportedly told Sky News, “Anyone travelling to dangerous parts of the world should take the utmost caution. If there are risks to people’s safety, if they’re a British citizen abroad, then the UK government is going to do whatever it takes to ensure that they’re safe. The government is in negotiations and working hard to ensure people’s safety is upheld.”

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