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News

Canadian man freed by Taliban after years in captivity

Canada's foreign ministry has announced one of its citizens has been released by the Taliban in Afghanistan. The man had been held prisoner for five years.

Canadian Foreign Minister Stephane Dion announced on Monday that Colin Rutherford had been set free after being held by the Taliban since 2010.

Dion didn't share any details about the operation to free Rutherford. However, he did acknowledge the help of Qatar in securing the man's release.

The Taliban announced Rutherford's capture in 2011, although reports suggest he was taken in late 2010. While his captors accused Rutherford of being a spy, Dion said in a statement that the Canadian man was only a tourist.

'Canada is very pleased'

In a video made by the militant group in 2011, Rutherford, who was 26 when he was captured, said he had been in Afghanistan to visit historical sites.

In his statement, Dion said "Canada is very pleased" that the man's release was successful. "We look forward to Mr. Rutherford being able to return to Canada and reunite with his family and loved ones," Dion added.

In November 2008, another Canadian citizen, journalist Melissa Fung, was released by the Taliban in what she claimed was part of a prisoner swap.

The news comes as delegates from around the world meet in Islamabad to discuss reviving peace talks with the Taliban.

blc/jm (AP, Reuters, AFP)

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