Pro-Taleban militants in Pakistan say they have freed 19 hostages kidnapped in two incidents near the Afghan border earlier this month.

Pakistani authorities said all 19 surviving hostages were handed over to tribal elders Tuesday, and were being taken to the region's main town of Wana to be handed over to government officials.

Sixteen paramilitary soldiers disappeared on August 9 wile traveling to a military base in South Waziristan in Pakistan's northwestern tribal region.

The militants beheaded one of the soldiers on August 14 and distributed a video of the execution, which was carried out by a teenage boy.

Last week, militants kidnapped another four people in the same region, including a paramilitary officer and a government official.


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