ISLAMABAD, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani Taliban on Saturday released eight government employees who were kidnapped nearly a year ago, at a time when the militants and the government are set to hold peace talks, officials said.
The freed men had been working on a dam project in South Waziristan tribal region when they were kidnapped by the Taliban militants in August last year.
A government spokesman in Peshawar confirmed the release of the eight, who had been handed over to tribesmen in Waziristan region Saturday morning.
Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had released several videos of the abducted employees, who had asked the government to accept demands of the captors.
The TTP wanted the release of some of their prisoners for exchange of the employees, sources said. However, the government had not accepted their demands.
A tribal council had been in touch with the Taliban for their release and the Taliban agreed to free them at a time when the Taliban and the government are close to begin peace talks.
Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid, said the eight men were released as a "goodwill gesture."
The detainees were freed just two days after the Gomal Dam Zam dam was formally inaugurated which will produce nearly 27 MW electricity and irrigate the land in the area.