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Russian pilot captured in Afghanistan flies back home — diplomat

August 16, 8:56 UTC+3 ISLAMABAD
Russian pilot Sergey Sevastyanov took a flight from Islamabad to Moscow early on Tuesday
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ISLAMABAD, August 16. /TASS/. Russian pilot Sergey Sevastyanov who was captured by the Taliban earlier this month in Afghanistan took a flight from Islamabad to Moscow early on Tuesday, Russia’s charge d’affaires in Pakistan told TASS.

"I confirm that Sergey flew back home this night," Alexander Hozin said.

Sevastyanov was part of the crew of the Mi-17 helicopter owned by the government of Pakistan’s Punjab province. The helicopter was heading to Russia via Afghanistan on August 4 for maintenance. During the flight over the restive province of Logar the helicopter was hit by fire opened by the Taliban militants and made an emergency landing in the Mati area of the Azra district. No one of six crew members was hurt but they were captured by the militants.

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said on August 13 all crew members were handed over to Pakistan’s side. On the same day, Sevastyanov was transferred to the Russian embassy in Pakistan and stayed on the territory of the diplomatic mission until August 16.

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