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World News

12 Jan 2017

Taliban video shows US and Australian hostages

Timothy Weekes appealed to the US president-elect in the video
BBC:

The Taliban have released video of an Australian and an American who they kidnapped in Afghanistan last year.

American Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weekes were professors at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul.

They were abducted in August from their vehicle outside the university by gunmen in security forces uniforms.

Later that month US forces in Afghanistan failed in an attempt to rescue the men, the Pentagon said.

In the video, which purports to have been shot on 1 January and was posted online, the men say they have been kept "in good condition".

But they appeal to US President-elect Donald Trump to offer a prisoner swap for their release, saying they will be killed if he does not negotiate.

The US State Department declined to comment on the video or confirm its authenticity, other than to "condemn" hostage-taking.

Australia's foreign ministry said the "Australian government has been working closely with other governments to secure the release of an Australian man kidnapped in Afghanistan in August 2016," but declined to comment further "in the interests of his own safety and well-being".

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