GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13190 posts, RR: 77 Posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 916 times:
12 days ago, four aid workers, one British, one Kenyan and two Afghans, were taken hostage by a group, whose demands included a £7 million ransom. A criminal, albeit with close links to insurgents, gang who were heavily armed, seized them in a mountainous, difficult to access and generally treacherous area of terrain. In the same area a group of aid workers, also there to alleviate malnutrition, were murdered in 2010.
Last night, a rescue operation by NATO, headed by UK Special Forces with US support, freed the hostages, all of whom were unharmed, killing the five kidnappers during the rescue.
This after increasing threats to the lives of the hostages and fears of greater Taliban involvement.
Some recent attempts to rescue hostages have not gone well, in Afghanistan and Nigeria, so it's a relief that this one was a total success, hopefully a deterrent too.
imiakhtar From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 874 times:
Quoting connies4ever (Reply 2): Certainly the people that inhabited what I saw were very nice to me. But it was rather like going through a time portal crossing from Iran.
Apologies. I wasn't referring to the dominant pashtuns, but the Wakhan people of the extreme North-East. Suffice it to say, culturally they're very different!
The terrain too is immense and strange. The Pamirs of Tajikistan to the North, a fertile strip of grassland in between only a few miles across, and the Hindu Kush and Karakoram of Pakistan and China to the South and East.
connies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 4, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 865 times:
Quoting imiakhtar (Reply 3): Apologies. I wasn't referring to the dominant pashtuns, but the Wakhan people of the extreme North-East. Suffice it to say, culturally they're very different!
Apologies not necessary. I am quite aware that Afghanistan is not a nation in the normal sense, but rather an assortment of very distinct tribes, each more or less with a defined turf. That's one of the main roots of the current "problem".
Backpacking through that whole region (Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria) at 24 was an eye-opener.
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13190 posts, RR: 77
Reply 5, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 852 times:
Rory Stewart, now an MP, walked across Afghanistan. Impressive, Even more so, he did this in late 2001. Long after the hippy trail era had ended.
(He did a two part doc recently for the BBC about the history of foreign intervention in this land, if you can get to see it on a certain video sharing site, well worth a look).