KANDAHAR - The Taliban have released more than two dozen hostages pulled from their vehicles on a highway in southern Afghanistan. The passengers were kidnapped in Washer district of volatile Helmand province as they were travelling on a bus and two trucks from southern Kandahar to western Herat province on Tuesday. "There were 25 people taken by Taliban, all of them are released and will be sent to their homes," Aqa Noor Kentoz police chief of Helmand told AFP.

"The five last hostages were released this morning after tribal elders intervened," he said.