Five British nationals being held by Taliban released as UK government apologises

Five British nationals being held by the Taliban in Afghanistan have been released, with the UK Foreign Office admitting it had been a “mistake” for them to go to the country against official travel advice.

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

The Foreign Office said the government “regrets this episode”.

“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.”

The Foreign Office would not confirm details about the five people who were detained.

Peter Jouvenal (left) was among those detained

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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.

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