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Mullah Omar orders execution of foreign hostages

The Taliban leader has ordered execution of four foreigners who were abducted in southern Afghanistan.

india Updated: Mar 13, 2006 14:31 IST
Reuters
Reuters
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Talibanleader Mullah Mohammad Omar has ordered the execution of four foreigners -- described as three Albanians and a German -- kidnapped in southern Afghanistan, a Taliban spokesman said.

Omar's order was read by telephone late on Sunday to the agency reporter at the border town of Spin Boldak, in Kandaharprovince.

"These people had come to Afghanistan at America's behest, therefore they should be sentenced to death," Talibanspokesman Qari Mohammad Yousuf quoted the order as saying.

Earlier on Sunday, Yousufhad said four Albanians and four Afghans were being held.

But he later said the four Afghans, two of them drivers, had been released, and identified the foreigners as three Albanians and a German.

Afghan authorities could not say what the kidnap victims had been doing in Kandaharprovince.

A Talibancourt would try the men as spies for the United States, Yousuf said.

In the past, the Talibanhave labelled as US spies kidnapped employees of companies and non-government organisations involved in Afghanistan's reconstruction.

Authorities in Kandaharsaid a search was on for the kidnapped men, who had been travelling in two vehicles when they were held up at gunpoint.

US-led forces overthrew the Taliban government in late 2001, after its leadership refused to surrender Osama bin Laden following Al-Qaeda's September 11 attacks on the United States.

Since then the Talibanhave been fighting to overthrow President HamidKarzai's Western-backed government and to force out foreign troops.

The insurgents have killed several foreigners after kidnapping them, including a Briton involved in a road project who was found dead in September and an Indian killed in November.

First Published: Mar 13, 2006 14:31 IST