According to the reports, militants linked to the Taliban kidnapped a US contractor on Wednesday in Khost province.

57-year old American government contractor Mark Frerichs, a former US Navy diver was reportedly taken hostage by Taliban group in
Afghanistan southeastern Khost province, Newsweek reported.

According to Newsweek, US officials believe the Haqqani network, an insurgency group linked to the Taliban and active in the area since the 1970s, is behind this hostage.

No individual or group has officially claimed the responsibility for the incident.

Numerous US agencies are reportedly trying to recover Frerichs, including the Departments of State and Defense and the FBI, Newsweek reported. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday evening. The Defense Department referred to inquiries on the matter to the State Department.

“The welfare and safety of US citizens abroad is one of the highest priorities of the Department of State,” a State Department spokesperson told in a statement, adding that it had no further comment.

This is the first hostage case reported during 12-months old peace negotiations between the Taliba and United States which kicked off last February.

Anas Haqqani and two other senior Taliban members detained by the Afghan government were released in exchange for the release of two Haqqani-held professors who were working for the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF).


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