Taliban Free Captive Chinese Engineer in Pakistan
In a gesture of goodwill to accompany their 10-day ceasefire with the Pakistani government, Taliban insurgents in northwestern Pakistan on Saturday released Long Xiaowei, one of two Chinese engineers kidnapped in late August. Long was the insurgents’ one remaining Chinese hostage after his fellow captive escaped in October. From the International Herald Tribune:
Pakistani officials on Sunday hammered out a peace deal with a Taliban-linked group that could lead to the enforcement of elements of Islamic law in parts of the northwest, prompting militants in the blood-soaked Swat Valley to declare a 10-day cease-fire as a goodwill gesture.
[Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan] announced the militants had freed a Chinese engineer held captive for nearly six months as a positive gesture. Long Xiaowei — who was kidnapped in August — was freed Saturday, days before a planned visit to China by Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari.
Khan also announced the 10-day cease-fire.