Body of abducted German found in Afghanistan


Kabul : An Afghan provincial police chief said Sunday that security forces have found the dead body of the one of the two German workers who had been kidnapped Wednesday in central Afghanistan. One of the five Afghans who had been kidnapped with them was found alive.

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Two German engineers and their five Afghan colleagues were kidnapped on Wednesday in Jaghato district of central Maidan Wardak province.

A Taliban spokesman had claimed Saturday that they executed the two Germans along with five Afghans because Germany refused to meet the group's demands.

But later, the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that one of the two German died of extreme heat or a heart attack, and the second hostage was still alive.

"Our forces found a dead body in Jaghato district that they say belongs to a German engineer and they are on their way to the centre of the province," Mohammad Hewazali Mazloom, provincial police chief of Maidan Wardak told DPA.

He said could not elaborate on the cause of the death, but added that Eshaq Noorzai, brother of Arif Khan Noorzai, Afghan parliament's deputy speaker was also with the police force.

In Berlin, officials said a German Foreign Ministry 24-hour crisis team continued to follow developments Sunday amid public shock at the death of the aid engineer.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier had said Saturday evening that it was assumed the kidnapped man had died of the "strains" from his ordeal and had not been directly murdered by the kidnappers.

However a German Sunday newspaper, Bild am Sonntag, said that German officials had been able to obtain a preliminary view of the body and had seen gunshot wounds.

The Foreign Ministry declined to comment on that report.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was scheduled to give a television interview later Sunday and was expected to appeal to legislators to renew authorisation for German military operations in Afghanistan.