Four British men freed by Taliban after being detained in Afghanistan

23-year-old Miles Routledge (left) and 53-year-old charity medic Kevin Cornwell were arrested by the Taliban. Credit: PA

Four British nationals who were held for months in Taliban custody in Afghanistan have been released and are set to fly home to the UK.

The UK Foreign Office said it welcomes the release of the men, who were detained over allegedly breaking the country’s laws.

Non-profit organisation the Presidium Network, which has assisted the men, named three of them as charity medic Kevin Cornwell, from Middlesbrough, Miles Routledge and Ian Purchase.

The other British national cannot be named for legal reasons.

A Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) spokesperson said the UK government “regrets this episode”.

They went on: “On behalf of families of the British nationals, we express their apologies to the current administration of Afghanistan for any violations of the laws of the country.”

Scott Richards, co-founder of the Presidium Network, said the men were returning to the UK on Tuesday, but was unaware of which flight they were on.

Miles Routledge is a YouTuber who posts videos of his trips to 'dangerous' locations. Credit: Miles Routledge/PA

Mr Routledge is a British holidaymaker who received widespread attention and criticism on social media in August 2021 having travelled to Afghanistan despite the Taliban’s gains in the nation.

Mr Cornwell had been working for a charity providing free local healthcare and liaising with the likes of the United Nations and Unicef in Kabul when he was detained in January.

Afghan officers accused him of having an unlicensed gun.

The Presidium Network said the firearm was licensed and that the arrests were part of a misunderstanding.

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