News World Kidnapped Australian teacher returns home after three years in Afghanistan
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Kidnapped Australian teacher returns home after three years in Afghanistan

australian teacher taliban
Australian Timothy Weeks in a screenshot from a video released by the Taliban. Photo: AAP
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Australian teacher Timothy Weeks has returned home, three years after he was kidnapped at gunpoint by Taliban militants in Afghanistan.

Mr Weeks and his American colleague, Kevin King, were released earlier this month as part of a prisoner swap deal.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne said Mr Weeks and his family were relieved.

“I am very pleased to confirm that Tim has returned to Australia and very much welcome his return,” she said.

“It has been an extraordinarily long three years for him and for his family.”

Mr Weeks and Mr King were reportedly freed near the Pakistan border after Afghanistan released three top Taliban commanders, including Anas Haqqani, the brother of the head of the powerful Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network.

The pair were then reportedly flown to a US military base in Germany for medical treatment.

Mr Weeks, a teacher from Wagga Wagga in New South Wales, was working at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul in August 2016 when he and Mr King were kidnapped at gunpoint.

Days after the kidnapping, then-US president Barack Obama ordered a secret night-time raid by Navy SEALs to rescue them but the mission failed.

-ABC