Mark Frerichs: US hostage swapped for Afghan leader linked to Taliban

Mark Frerichs was handed over at Kabul airport on Monday, the Taliban said. In return they received Bashir Noorzai, a Taliban ally serving a life sentence for drug trafficking. The 60-year-old was abducted by the Taliban the year before the group swept back to power in Afghanistan and its Western-backed government collapsed. US President Joe Biden said the swap required “difficult decisions” that he did not take lightly. At least one other American remains in Taliban hands; filmmaker Ivor Shearer and Afghan producer Faizullah Faizbakhsh detained in August.

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