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An Afghan official says the Taliban have released 33 university professors and students abducted nearly two weeks ago in the country's east.

Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, the deputy governor of Ghazni province, says the hostages were released overnight and early on Monday, following mediation by tribal elders in the region and the staff from the office of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Ghazni.

Ahmadi says the 33, most of whom are professors at the Kandahar university, were on their way to the Afghan capital, Kabul, earlier this month when their bus was stopped by the Taliban in the province's Qarabagh district.

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The Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, confirmed the release of the 33 in a statement to media. He didn't say if a ransom was involved or provide details.

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