Taliban leader's body swapped for hostages

Afghan president Hamid Karzai ordered the body of a slain top Taliban commander to be exchanged for the release of five Afghan health workers kidnapped in the country’s south, an official said today.

Afghan president Hamid Karzai ordered the body of a slain top Taliban commander to be exchanged for the release of five Afghan health workers kidnapped in the country’s south, an official said today.

Karzai told “relevant authorities” to swap the body of Mullah Dadullah, the Taliban commander killed last month in southern Afghanistan, for a doctor, three nurses and a driver kidnapped by militants in southern Afghanistan two months ago, said Abdullah Fahim, a spokesman for the public health ministry.

It followed an exchange demand from Dadullah Mansoor, the brother of the slain commander, who now heads the militant operations in the country’s south, Fahim said.

Mullah Dadullah, a one-legged militant who orchestrated Taliban suicide attacks and beheadings, was killed in a US-led military operation in Helmand province.

Kandahar Governor Asadullah Khalid has said that Dadullah was buried at a secret location near Kandahar.

The health workers were kidnapped on March 27 by suspected Taliban militants in southern Kandahar province’s Zhari district.

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