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KABUL: Four women activists in Afghanistan have been released by the country's authorities after going missing weeks ago, the United Nations said Sunday.

"After a long period of uncertainty about their whereabouts and safety, the four 'disappeared' Afghan women activists, as well as their relatives who also went missing, have all been released by the de facto authorities," the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said on Twitter.

Tamana Zaryabi Paryani, Parwana Ibrahimkhel, Zahra Mohammadi and Mursal Ayar went missing after participating in an anti-Taliban rally, but Afghanistan's hardline Islamist rulers had consistently denied detaining them.

A ‘number’ of British citizens detained in Afghanistan: UK

AFP reported the release of Ibrahimkhel late on Friday. She went missing along with Paryani on January 19, days after taking part in a rally in Kabul calling for women's right to work and education.

Weeks later, Mohammadi and Ayar went missing.

The Taliban have promised a softer version of the harsh rule that characterised their first stint in power from 1996 to 2001.

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