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NATO Allies Raise Concerns About Italian Hostage Deal in Afghanistan

NATO allies have raised concerns about a recent deal in Afghanistan to free five Taleban prisoners in exchange for a kidnapped Italian reporter.

U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns told reporters in Brussels Tuesday that a majority of member states oppose the exchange of hostages for terrorists.

Members Tuesday discussed adopting a common NATO policy to deal with similar hostage situations.

Early last week, the Afghan government released five Taleban militants in exchange for kidnapped journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo, who had been held for two weeks.

Britain and the United States raised objections to the deal, saying it increases the risk of similar kidnappings of NATO and Afghan troops.

Mastrogiacomo was abducted in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province in early March. Kidnappers beheaded his Afghan driver.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.