Afghan TV broadcasts video of kidnapped German woman

19th August 2007, Comments 0 comments

19 August 2007 , A day after a 31-year-old German woman was kidnapped in Kabul, an Afghan news channel on Sunday aired footage of what it said was the aid worker and a kidnapper who said she would be released in a prisoner exchange.

19 August 2007

A day after a 31-year-old German woman was kidnapped in Kabul, an Afghan news channel on Sunday aired footage of what it said was the aid worker and a kidnapper who said she would be released in a prisoner exchange.

Kabul (dpa) - A day after a 31-year-old German woman was kidnapped in Kabul, an Afghan news channel on Sunday aired footage of what it said was the aid worker and a kidnapper who said she would be released in a prisoner exchange.

"I am fine, there is no threat towards me. I want for my country to immediately try to win my release, they should help," the woman said in broken Dari - the main language in Afghanistan - while reading from a piece of paper.

Security personnel familiar with the case said they believed the woman was the kidnap victim. The staffer for a Christian aid organization called Ora International was snatched by four gunmen in a car on Saturday as she left a restaurant in western Kabul.

"We have Madam Christina, we are trying hard to keep her safe," said the man, who hid his head and face with a turban in the video shown by the private Tolo news channel.

"We want for the government of (Afghan President) Hamid Karzai to release our innocent prisoners, we will give the names of those who are in government jails through a secret network," he said.

"We don't have any other demand, we are not bad people, we are not Taliban either, we are from a special group," he added.

A Taliban spokesman had previously said the Islamic militia was not responsible for kidnapping the woman, who is believed to be pregnant.

Afghan police were combing the capital's seventh district where she was abducted and where her kidnapper's car was last spotted before the area was sealed off, Kabul police chief Alishah Paktiawal told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

House searches were underway and roadblocks were also set up on key exit routes to prevent her captors from moving her out of the city.

There has been a rash of kidnappings in Afghanistan in recent months, especially since the abduction of an Italian journalist in March secured the release of five Taliban prisoners.

Another German national, along with four Afghans, was kidnapped on July 18 in the central province of Maidan Wardak. Negotiations continue for the release of the engineer and 19 South Korean Christian aid workers who were abducted in July. Two sick male hostages were killed earlier by the Taliban and two women were released last week.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people gathered Sunday in Kabul stadium Sunday to celebrate Afghanistan's independence from British rule

The stadium, which was used for public executions under the Taliban, was decorated with the Afghan black, red and green tricolor flag and a large banner with a photo of King Amanullah Khan, who won independence from Britain in 1919 after the third Anglo-Afghan war.

Leading the ceremony, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the only way to save Afghanistan from further destruction and instability was to focus on the education of young Afghans.

"The youth should struggle and study day and night so they will be well educated. Education is our only salvation and leads us towards progress and development," Karzai said.

But in a message posted on a militant website on the eve of the occasion, Taliban chief Mullah Omar called on all Afghans to wage a united jihad, or holy war, against Western soldiers in Afghanistan.

"As the freedom fight continues to proceed well in the country, there are signs of panic among our enemies and their international partners are retreating," the one-eyed insurgent leader said.

Militant attacks continued on the anniversary. One soldier with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was killed on Sunday while performing convoy escort duties in southern Afghanistan, ISAF said in statement.

It did not identify the nationality of the soldier or say how and where he died. The majority of the forces in the couth are Dutch, Canadian, British and US soldiers.

Officials estimate that about 3,900 people have been killed in violence in Afghanistan this year, mostly insurgents but also including hundreds of Afghan and international forces.

DPA

Subject: German news

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