One of seven Indian engineers abducted by Taliban gunmen in Baghlan province in Afghanistan in May last year returned safely to India on Monday, the External Affairs Ministry has said.
The Indians were travelling in a largely Taliban-controlled area when they were abducted from their vehicle last year. 'We are grateful to the government of Afghanistan for their support in securing the release and repatriation of the Indian national. We continue to work closely with the government of Afghanistan for safe and early return of the remaining six Indian nationals,' the MEA said in a statement.
The Indian engineers of KEC International, an RPG group company, were working on a project for construction of a power sub-station in Afghanistan. Kidnapping of locals and foreigners is common in the country, where large parts are controlled by militants.
A government official said in May last year that more than 1,700 Indian engineers and technical experts were working across Afghanistan on large infrastructure projects. India has been carrying reconstruction activities in the war-torn country. It has already provided at least 2 billion dollar aid to Afghanistan.
The External Affairs Minister, Mrs. Sushma Swaraj, had earlier asked the Afghan government to provide all possible help in freeing the engineers.