updated 5/27/2007 4:02:42 AM ET 2007-05-27T08:02:42

The Taliban on Sunday released three Afghan aid workers who had been kidnapped along with their two French colleagues nearly two months ago, a spokesman for the group said. The report could not immediately be verified.

The three aid workers from aid group Terre d’Enfance — Mohammad Hashim and brothers Ghulam Rasul and Ghulam Azrat — had been abducted along with the two French nationals in the southwestern province of Nimroz on April 3.

The Taliban released the French woman, Celine Cordelier, on April 28, and the man, Eric Damfreville, on May 11.

“The three Afghans who were detained with the two French aid workers have been released today in Nimroz province at the request of tribal leaders,” purported Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi said Sunday. The report could not be immediately verified independently.

Nimroz Gov. Ghulam Dastagir Azad said he had heard the hostages had been released but had not yet seen them. A brother of Rasul and Azrat, Abdul Wahad, said he also heard of their release, but had not yet had access to them.

After taking the group captive, the Taliban demanded the withdrawal of all remaining French troops from Afghanistan. France pulled 200 French special forces out of Afghanistan late last year and still has about 1,000 troops stationed in the country.

The French aid workers were kidnapped two weeks after Afghan authorities released five Taliban prisoners in exchange for an Italian newspaper reporter who was abducted along with his two Afghan colleagues in southern Helmand province on March 5. The two Afghans were killed.

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