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Taliban claims abducting Briton, two others in Afghanistan

The British Embassy is looking into reports that its national has been abducted.
AP | By HT Correspondent, Kandahar
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2007 05:32 PM IST

The British Embassy was looking into reports on Tuesday that a British man has been kidnapped in the volatile south of Afghanistan, an official said, as the Taliban claimed to have captured a Briton and two Afghans.

A Taliban spokesman claimed the hard-line militia had detained the Briton -- whom he did not name but said had claimed to be a journalist -- and two Afghans as they traveled together by vehicle Monday in Nad Ali district of Helmand province.

"Taliban higher authorities" will decide what to do with them, Qari Yousef Ahmadi, who claims to speak for the Taliban, told the agency via satellite phone from an undisclosed location.

"We are investigating whether they are British spies." He identified the Afghans as Sayed Agha and Ajmal. He gave only one name for the second Afghan.

A British Embassy spokesman in Kabul said that they were aware of reports of a British man disappearing in southern Afghanistan. "We are looking into these reports," the spokesman said on customary condition of anonymity.

Afghan officials had no immediate information on the reported kidnapping.

Most of the NATO-led troops in Helmand province are British, and the alliance on Tuesday launched an offensive against militants in the northern part of Helmand, a Taliban stronghold.

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