Truss welcomes release of Britons held by Taliban

Five British nationals who were being held by the Taliban in Afghanistan have been released from detention.

The Foreign Office issued an apology on behalf of the families of the five for “any breach of Afghan culture, customs and laws” and said it was a “mistake” for them to have gone to the country against official travel advice.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said she is pleased the five have been released and would soon be reunited with their families.

“We welcome and appreciate the release by the current administration of Afghanistan of five British nationals who were detained in Afghanistan,” a Foreign Office spokesman said.

“These British nationals had no role in the UK Government’s work in Afghanistan and travelled to Afghanistan against the UK Government’s travel advice. This was a mistake.

“On behalf of the families of the British nationals, we express their apologies for any breach of Afghan culture, customs or laws, and offer their assurance of future good conduct.

“The UK Government regrets this episode.”

Ms Truss said: “Pleased the UK has secured the release of five British nationals detained in Afghanistan.

“They will soon be reunited with their families. I am grateful for the hard work of British diplomats to secure this outcome.”

The Foreign Office would not confirm details about the British nationals.

But one Briton known to have been held in Afghanistan is Peter Jouvenal, a TV cameraman and businessman.

Mr Jouvenal, a British/German dual national, has been held since early December and was visiting the country for business and family reasons, his friends said.