(BBC) - A German engineer and four Afghans held hostage in southern Afghanistan for nearly three months have been freed, German and Afghan officials say.
Rudolf Blechschmidt , 62, was in the custody of the Afghan authorities, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in a statement.
He and the four Afghans were handed over to officials in Wardak province.
They were seized by the Taleban on 18 July along with another German man, who later died during the ordeal.
Kidnappings have soared in Afghanistan in recent months, where foreign and Afghan troops are battling the Taleban .