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Russian Foreign Ministry says no threat to life of pilot captured by Taliban

August 12, 13:33 UTC+3
The Taliban forces captured the crew of a Pakistani-owned helicopter, which made an emergency landing in Afghanistan
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© EPA/NICOLAS ASFOURI/POOL

MOSCOW, August 12. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Ministry confirms negotiations concerning liberation of pilot Sergei Sevastyanov, captured in Afghanistan; nothing threatens his life, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

"We can see contradictory media reports regarding Russian pilot Sevastyanov and other crew members of Pakistani Mi-17, captured by a Taliban group in Afghanistan’s Logar Province," the foreign ministry said. "Some reports gave hope about claimed release of the captured, saying they were transferred to the Pakistani authorities. Unfortunately, this information is not confirmed yet."

"We are doing everything possible to rescue our compatriot," the ministry said. "Russia’s embassies in Kabul and Islamabad keep permanent contact with authorities and intelligence services in the countries."

Moscow noticed reports from Pakistani counterparts saying they use all means of influence among the Talibs to rescue the hostages.

"Afghanistan's law enforcers assure us they have begun negotiations with the capturers, and the local tribal elders are mediators there," the Foreign Ministry said. "The captured are now at a secure place in Afghanistan's remote area, they have everything they need, including medicines; nothing threatens their lives."

The Russian foreign ministry hopes the steps "undertaken by the Afghani and Pakistani counterparts will end in liberation of the hostages, and Sevastyanov will return home."

A Pakistani-owned Mil Mi-17 helicopter made an emergency landing in Afghanistan when it was heading for maintenance and repairs to an enterprise belonging to the Russian Helicopters Company.

The helicopter went on fire upon landing. The crew consisting of six retired Pakistani military and a Russian navigator was captured by the Taliban forces. Some media reports said earlier on Thursday that the helicopter crew members had been released.

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