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Afghan Forces Rescue 2 Pakistani Diplomats

FILE - Afghan security forces arrive at the site of a showdown between Taliban and Afghan forces in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 1, 2017.

Afghan security forces Wednesday safely recovered two Pakistani diplomats weeks after they were abducted in eastern Afghanistan.

The men were serving at Pakistan's consulate general in the Afghan city of Jalalabad and traveling back to their country on June 16 when they went missing. No one had claimed responsibility for kidnapping the diplomats.

“President Ashraf Ghani personally phoned Pakistan's Charge d'Affiares in Kabul to inform that the Afghan security forces had recovered the two Pakistani officials in a security operation,” the foreign ministry in Islamabad said.

The two officials were later handed over to the embassy and were to be flown back to Pakistan to join their families as soon as possible, the ministry said, and thanked the Afghan government for the rescue.

The ministry statement did not provide further details about who was behind the kidnapping or from where in Afghanistan the two men were rescued.

Jalalabad is the capital of volatile Nangarhar province, which borders Pakistan, and where Taliban insurgents and militants linked to a local branch of Islamic State also have strongholds.

The kidnapping of the diplomatic officials and their subsequent rescue by Afghan forces come as Kabul's relations with Islamabad have deteriorated in the past several years.

The two countries share a long border and routinely accuse each other of sponsoring terrorist attacks on each other's soils.