The released hostage is Timothy Wilkes, a 50 year old from wogavaga, NSW, Australia. He and his American colleague Kevin king, who also teaches at the American University of Afghanistan, were kidnapped outside the campus by Taliban militants in 2016.
Several media reported on November 19 that the Taliban released the two hostages in exchange for the release of several prisoners associated with the Taliban by the Afghan government.
Two hostages were released and left by US helicopter. Wilkes appeared at a press conference in Sydney, Australia, on December 1, to report his safety to those who care about him and recall those hard times.
Vickers said the U.S. Navy seal commando has been trying to rescue them, according to his estimate, at least six times, several times lost with us..
He recalled that one day in April this year, the two were awakened at 2 a.m. by armed guards guarding them. The other side claimed that they had been attacked by the extremist organization Islamic state and needed to avoid and transfer them to the tunnel under the room.
I understand now that it was the seals who came to save us, said Wilkes. They are right outside the door. We had just been thrust into the tunnel when a loud noise came from the front door. Our watchmen rushed forward and fired machine guns. When they pushed me into the tunnel, I fell back to the ground, tumbled and collided, losing consciousness.
He said the two were often kept in dark huts by armed men, who moved their places of detention from time to time, one in remote areas of Afghanistan, the other on the border with neighboring Pakistan.
[never give up hope
In spite of the mishap, Wilkes never lost hope. I never give up hope, he said. I think, in that situation, if I give up hope again, what am I left with?
I know Ill leave that place eventually, just a little longer than I thought.
Remembering the day of his release, Wilkes couldnt forget. At that time, he said, his heart was still a little uneasy until he saw the U.S. Black Hawk helicopter coming to pick them up and the big stone finally landed in his heart.
Six US Special Forces soldiers suddenly appeared in a cloud of dust, he recalled. They came up to us and one of them hugged me and asked me, are you ok? Then he put me in the helicopter.
Wilkes thanked us president Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison for their efforts to release the hostages.
Vickers said the experience had a huge and unimaginable impact on him. He choked: sometimes I feel like Im dying soon and cant go back to the people I love. But God sent me back. Im still alive, unharmed and free.