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Ten months after being kidnapped in Afghanistan’s Baghlan province, one of the seven Indians has returned to India, the External Affairs Ministry said on Monday (March 18).

It said India continued to work closely with the Afghan government for safe and early return of the remaining six Indian nationals.

“We are grateful to the Government of Afghanistan for their support in securing the release and repatriation of the Indian national. We continue to work closely with the Government of Afghanistan for safe and early return of the remaining six Indian nationals”, the MEA said, in a statement.

On May 6 last year, seven Indians working with Indian power company KEC International were abducted by suspected Taliban gunmen in Northern Baghlan province of Afghanistan.

A government official with knowledge of the matter said in May last year that more than 1,700 Indian engineers and technical experts were working across Afghanistan on large infrastructure projects.

India has been carrying reconstruction activities in the war-torn country. It has already provided at least $2 billion aid to Afghanistan.

While no group had claimed responsibility, Baghlan Governor Abdulhai Nemati had said that a Taliban group was behind the abduction.

Nemati said that Afghan authorities had spoken with the Taliban group, via local people, and had been told that the KEC employees had been mistaken for government staff.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had taken up the issue with the Afghan government on multiple occasions.

(Inputs from media reports)

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