HERAT - An unknown armed group briefly held about 60 Afghan de-miners hostage in the northwest of the country on Tuesday before an operation by security forces freed them. The mine clearance workers, employed by the British Halo Trust organisation, were taken by gunmen from a camp in the Pashtun Zarghun district of Herat province early in the morning. “All the abducted de-miners have now been freed,” Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for the interior ministry, told AFP.