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Cyclist kidnapped by Taliban freed after 15 months

Hong Xudong freed after intelligence-led operation

A Chinese tourist who was kidnapped in Pakistan by the Taliban more than a year ago as he cycled through the country has been freed.

Hong Xudong is now reported to be safe and in the care of the Pakistani government.

On Sunday evening, Pakistan’s interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali said: “He will be handed over to the Chinese mission in Islamabad tonight”

He added: “Chinese authorities, whenever we meet, would always ask about the captive.”

The captive's release reportedly follows an operation led by Pakistani intelligience forces.

In May last year, a local Taliban commander, Abdullah Bahar, confirmed that they had custody of the cyclist, whom they had abducted close to the city of Dera Ismail Khan.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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