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Page last updated at 06:44 GMT, Saturday, 17 May 2008 07:44 UK

Pakistan Afghan ambassador freed

Footage of Tariq Azizuddin shown on al-Arabiya 19 April
The video of Tariq Azizuddin showed him surrounded by armed men

Pakistan's ambassador to Afghanistan, who was abducted by suspected Taleban militants in February, has been freed.

Tariq Azizuddin was seized in the border area between the two countries, en route to the Afghan capital, Kabul.

In April he appeared in a video on Dubai-based al-Arabiya television, in which he said that had been taken by "mujahideen from the Taleban".

Mr Azizuddin's bodyguard and driver were also kidnapped. It is not clear whether they have also been released.

The Pakistani embassy in the Afghan capital said Mr Azizuddin was safe and well.

In the April video, in which a militant could be seen holding a gun to the envoy's head, Mr Azizuddin said he and his colleagues were being "looked after", but that he suffered from health problems including high blood pressure and heart pains.

Khyber kidnap

Mr Azizuddin was travelling from the north-western Pakistani city of Peshawar when he was abducted.

map
Many areas in the border region with Afghanistan are strongholds of pro-Taleban militants, and hundreds of people have been kidnapped in recent years.

Mr Azizuddin said in the video that he had been seized in the Khyber area - the quickest way between Peshawar and Kabul.

The historic Khyber Pass is the main trade route supplying reinforcements and supplies to the US and Nato forces in Afghanistan.

It is also one of the best protected areas, with a heavy contingent of tribal police.

Mr Azizuddin was said to have previously travelled to Kabul by road, often without a tribal escort.





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