Washington is offering financial rewards for anyone who provides information about missing Americans in Afghanistan

The United States set aside rewards amounting to five million dollars on Wednesday for anyone who provides it with information that directs it to the whereabouts of two missing Americans, possibly following a kidnapping in Afghanistan.

One of them is Paul Edwin Overby (77 years), who was last seen in mid-May 2014 in Khost State, near Pakistan, while he was "researching a book he was writing" and intending to "cross the border," the State Department said in a statement.

The FBI had already promised to award a $ 1 million reward for his finding.

In 2017, his wife Jane Larson said that her husband was a hostage by the Haqqani Network, one of the bloodiest branches of the Taliban, after he wanted to meet one of its leaders. But the Taliban denied this.

The other American is Mark Freiks (58), who was kidnapped in early February of this year.

"When he was kidnapped, he was residing in Kabul. He had settled in Afghanistan around 2010 and was working on construction projects across the country," the Foreign Ministry said, in what appears to be the first official acknowledgment of his abduction.

In February, Afghan officials confirmed to AFP the kidnapping of an American in Khost province, who was identified as a former soldier-turned-contractor and in charge of a security company.

No group at the time claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, which coincided with the start of the United States and the Taliban in the first phase of negotiations that led to an unprecedented agreement on February 29, after more than 18 years of war.

A spokesman for the rebels confirmed that they had no information about his disappearance.

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