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Leave Afghanistan soon, Taliban warn Indians

The militia has threatened to kill the hostage if all Indians don't leave Afghanistan within 24 hours.

india Updated: Apr 29, 2006 18:37 IST

Taliban militants will kill an Indian engineer being held hostage in southern Afghanistan if all Indians don't leave Afghanistan within 24 hours, a purported spokesman for the insurgent group said on Saturday.

Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, who releases regular statements on behalf of outlawed Taliban fighters, accused the Indian engineer, who was abducted on Friday in the southern Zabul province, of being an "American spy."

"We warn all Indians working here to leave Afghanistan within 24 hours starting 6 pm local time on Saturday otherwise we will kill him," Ahmadi said after contacting the agency by phone.

India's ambassador to Kabul, Rakesh Sood, said the threat was "not a very positive development."

Sood identified the hostage as A Suryanarayana, a father of three from Hyderabad aged in his early 40s, who had been employed here since January by a Bahrain-based company, Al Mayyad.

The firm has been contracted by an Afghan mobile phone company, Roshan, to expand its mobile phone network across volatile provinces in southern Afghanistan.