Australian Taliban Hostage Finally Home After Years In Captivity
Australian teacher Timothy Weeks has arrived in Australia after three years of being held in Taliban captivity.
Timothy Weeks, a teacher from Wagga Wagga in NSW, was freed from custody in Afghanistan along with his American colleague Kevin King, three years after they were abducted at gunpoint.
The 50-year-old arrived at Sydney Airport late on Thursday night after being transferred from a US military base in Germany.
"I am very pleased to confirm that Tim has been returned to Australia," Foreign Minister Marise Payne told ABC radio Friday.
"I've spoken to Professor Weeks, it was a special conversation, and one I've been hoping to have for some time."
Weeks and King, 63, were grabbed outside the American University in Kabul in 2016 and released in exchange for three members of the Taliban.
The pair were handed over to US forces in southern Afghanistan and flown out of the country by chopper to receive medical care.
Wagga Wagga mayor Greg Conkey said it was "fantastic news" that he had finally been set free.
"As a community, as a city, we're delighted that he has been released after all this time," Conkey told AAP.
"It's hard to imagine what he has suffered during these last three years."
"The family has been extremely supportive, and what they've gone through has been obviously very incredible as well, there's a lot of stress that the family has suffered."
"Hopefully, he'll be given the time that he requires to recover from this ordeal."