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Indian priest breathes free air after 8 months in captivity

AT-KABUL: Prime Minister of India on Sunday said that Alexis Prem Kumar, an Indian Christian priest who was abducted in Afghanistan, has been freed.

Narendra Modi announced release of the abducted priest on his Twitter account. He tweeted, “Delighted at securing the release of Indian Jesuit priest Father Alexis Prem Kumar from captivity in Afghanistan.”

The Indian premier said that he had informed the family of Kumar about his safe return after eight months in abduction.

Kumar was kidnapped by unknown men on June 2, 2014 in Sohadat village of Herat province during his visit to a school supported by his organization, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). The 47-year old priest was working as director of the JRS in Afghanistan.

After his abduction, reports about his connection with Indian mission in Afghanistan has circulated, but were rejected soon by the external affairs ministry of India.

Investigating the case to trace the kidnappers, Afghan authorities arrested three Taliban members. It is widely believed that the priest has been freed after successful bargaining with the insurgent group. However, Afghan officials preferred to remain silent and avoid media. Afghanistan Times several times tried to contact the spokesman of Interior Ministry but failed to get official version in this regard.

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