The United States announced the release of two Americans detained in Afghanistan, but condemned the Taliban’s decision to ban girls from attending university in the country.
The United States announced the release of two of its nationals held in Afghanistan on Tuesday, hailing a “gesture of goodwill” from the Taliban on the same day they drew international condemnation for banning women from university.
“We understand that this is a gesture of goodwill on the part of the Taliban. It is not part of an exchange of prisoners or detainees. No money has been exchanged,” assured State Department spokesman Ned Price, who says the two nationals were on road to Doha.
Girls are forbidden from going to university
Qatar has played a key role in serving US interests since the Taliban returned to power after US forces withdrew from Afghanistan. He declined to provide details about the two Americans who sought refuge under confidentiality rules.
CNN reported that one of them was Ivor Shearer, a director arrested in August along with his Afghan producer who filmed the scene of a drone strike that killed al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.
“It will not have escaped our attention that they made such a gesture of goodwill on the same day they made a decision that goes against the Afghan people,” Ned Price said.