Journalist 'possibly missing' in Afghanistan

25th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

BERLIN (AP) - The Foreign Ministry said Wednesday it was investigating claims that a German journalist may have been abducted in Afghanistan, and a national magazine said one of its reporters might be missing.

BERLIN (AP) - The Foreign Ministry said Wednesday it was investigating claims that a German journalist may have been abducted in Afghanistan, and a national magazine said one of its reporters might be missing.

Only last week, two German engineers were kidnapped in the country, one of whom who died while in custody.

"Our embassy in Kabul is following hints that possibly a German journalist is missing in Afghanistan, and we are working on a quick clarification of the situation," spokesman Martin Jaeger said.

German news magazine Stern said that one of its reporters had been vacationing in Afghanistan and may have been abducted.

"We have heard about reports that a German journalist was kidnapped in Afghanistan and also heard rumors that it might be our Stern colleague Christoph Reuter," said Isabelle Haesler, a spokeswoman for the Hamburg-based weekly said. "We are very worried about Christoph Reuter and we are trying to get in touch with him."

The last dispatch filed by Reuter for Stern was one detailing the Afghan people's support of German troops in their country. Stern said Reuter reported the story from Germany and it was scheduled to be published later this week.

Reuter, a fluent speaker of Arabic, has frequently covered Afghanistan and Iraq for Stern, the magazine said.

German news channel NTV reported that Afghan officials had confirmed the kidnapping of an unidentified German journalist in eastern Afghanistan.

The claim came just days after Ruediger Diedrich, 43, died under unclear circumstances while in captivity.

His body will be flown back to Germany later this week and be autopsied to determine a cause of death, Jaeger said Tuesday, while efforts to release a second German are continuing.

Several Germans have been kidnapped in Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years, but Diedrich is the first known to have died while in captivity. Twenty-five German soldiers have died while on duty in Afghanistan.

Ajmal Khan, a spokesman for the governor of Kunar province, said a three-man team was sent to the Watapur district to investigate whether the German and his translator had been abducted.

"I cannot confirm, I cannot deny the reports," he said . "We were not aware of the trip by the German in the area. He did not discuss such a trip with police or with the governors office."

AP

Subject: German news

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