June 19, 2024

LONDON (AP) — The Taliban released four Britons who were detained in Afghanistan on allegations that they broke the laws of the country, the U.K. government said Tuesday.

The Foreign Office said in a brief statement that it welcomed the release of the four Britons, and expressed apologies on behalf of their families “to the current administration of Afghanistan for any violations of the laws of the country.”

“The U.K. government regrets this episode,” it added.

The Foreign Office didn’t provide details on who the four were or what laws they allegedly broke.

Scott Richards, co-founder of the U.K.-based nonprofit Presidium Network, which was involved in negotiations to help secure the Britons’ release, said one of the four was Kevin Cornwell, who had been working with the United Nations in a medical capacity.

Cornwell was detained in January in a Kabul hotel housing nonprofit workers, along with an unidentified hotel manager, after Afghanistan’s Directorate of Intelligence searched their rooms and found a pistol in the hotel safe, according to Richards.

All four men were on a flight returning to the U.K. on Tuesday, Richards added.

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