One of the Iranian engineers kidnapped yesterday has escaped his captives and reached security forces, officials in western Afghanistan have announced.

The security commander for the western province of Farah said this development could set the stage for the release of his colleagues.

However, the Iranian media have reported that the engineer was rescued, citing the Iranian ambassador in Kabul.

There has been disagreement about the exact number of Iranians kidnapped yesterday in Farah, some saying eight and others 12. Afghan authorities say the kidnapping was carried out by the Taliban.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said the ministry’s information indicates the Iranian hostages are “well.”

The Afghan media in Farah report that the Taliban has taken responsibility for the kidnapping. The condition for their release has been reported to be the departure of the Iranian road construction company Jahad-e Nasr, which employs the kidnapped engineers.

The company has long been working to build a road that connects Farah with Iranian border cities.

Officials claim two Afghan drivers that worked alongside the engineers were also kidnapped in yesterday’s incident.