UK non-profit reports that three British men have been captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Three British men have been detained by the Taliban in Afghanistan, according to UK non-profit group the Presidium Network who shared the news on Twitter and added that they were “working closely with two of the families”.

The UK’s foreign ministry released a statement saying, “We are working hard to secure consular contact with British nationals detained in Afghanistan and we are supporting families.” Scott Richards of the Presidium Network told Sky News that the men were “in good health and being well treated.”

He added that there had been “no meaningful contact” between authorities and the two men the group is assisting, who are believed to have been held by the Taliban since January. It is not known how long the third man has been held for.

Media reports named the men as charity medic Kevin Cornwell, 53, an unnamed manager of a hotel for aid workers and YouTube star Miles Routledge. Presidium on Twitter urged the Taliban to be “considerate of what we believe is a misunderstanding and release these men”.

Last year, the Taliban freed a veteran television cameraman and four other British nationals it had held for six months. The government in London said at the time that the five “had no role in the UK government’s work in Afghanistan and travelled to Afghanistan against the UK government’s travel advice”.

The latest incident comes as the Taliban continues to gain ground in Afghanistan, following the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country. The group has been accused of human rights abuses and the targeting of civilians, including aid workers.

The UK government has advised against all travel to Afghanistan since 2020, citing the risk of terrorism and kidnapping.

The detention of the three British men has sparked concern among their families and the wider community. The Presidium Network has called for their immediate release and for the Taliban to respect international law.

The situation in Afghanistan remains volatile, with the Taliban making gains in many parts of the country. The UK and other countries have expressed their support for the Afghan government and its security forces, but the situation remains uncertain.

Britain’s foreign ministry called it a “mistake”. Afghanistan government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid accused the Britons of “carrying out activities against the country’s laws and traditions of the people of Afghanistan”.

However, after “consecutive meetings between the IEA (Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan) and Britain, the said persons were released… and handed over to their home country,” he said. “They promised to abide by the laws of Afghanistan, its traditions and culture of the people and not to violate them again,” he added.

The Taliban returned to power in August 2021 and has since sparked global outrage with its policies, particularly towards women and girls. (AFP)

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