Wife, Taliban official say talks on Russian captive's release ongoing

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The wife of a Russian pilot who has been held by the Taliban for more than six months says she's been told negotiations for his release are ongoing.

A senior Taliban official told The Associated Press on Friday that a former Russian ambassador to Afghanistan has been in contact with the religious movement in the matter.

Pavel Petrenko was among 10 foreign civilians captured after their cargo helicopter made an emergency landing in eastern Afghanistan in April. Eight Turks, a Kyrgyz and an Afghan translator also were seized. The Turks were later released.

Petrenko's wife, Halyna, said by telephone from her home in Sumy, Ukraine, that Russian officials say release talks continue.

The Taliban official spoke on condition of anonymity but has proved reliable in the past.