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Italy’s Foreign Minister Says Italian Reporter Released

It’s now been confirmed by the Italian government – Daniele Mastrogiacomo, the Italian reporter who was kidnapped by the Taliban recently, is in safe hands.

Italian officials said on Monday that Mastrogiacomo had been freed after Taliban officials said a day earlier that they had released him in exchange for two Taliban officials.

Mullah Dadullah, the Taliban’s military commander, was reported by Reuters as saying the Italian had been freed after the Afghan authorities released five senior Taliban officials, including Dadullah’s brother.

Earlier, a Taliban spokesman was reported as saying the Karachi-born reporter, who works for Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper, was released after Afghan authorities freed three Taliban officials.

So, there’s obviously some confusion about how many Taliban officials were traded for Mastrogiacomo, but Italian Premier Romano Prodi confirmed that he’s in a hospital in Afghanistan, where he was taken by the aid group Emergency. “He is in the Emergency hospital and is in good health. I hope that in a few days we will be able to embrace him,” Prodi said.