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Abduction

Taliban release video of American and Australian teachers who were kidnapped in August

The pair appear pale and unshaven in the video.

THE TALIBAN RELEASED a video yesterday showing an American and an Australian who were kidnapped in August, the first time they have been seen since their abduction.

The two men, an American identified as Kevin King and an Australian identified as Timothy Weekes, were abducted outside the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul, where they worked as teachers.

Afghanistan Captives AP AP

US officials said in September that American forces had launched a rescue mission, but the captives weren’t at the raided location.

In the video, sent to media by Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, the pair appear pale and unshaven.

They say they are speaking on 1 January in the video. Apparently delivering a message on behalf of the kidnappers, they ask US President-elect Donald Trump to offer a prisoner exchange to secure their freedom.

Afghanistan Captives American identified as Kevin King making a statement on camera while in captivity. AP AP

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said US authorities were studying the video and could not confirm its authenticity.

He declined to comment on the case, citing privacy considerations, but he added:

Taking and holding civilian hostages is reprehensible and we condemn such actions in the strongest terms.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade issued a statement saying the “Australian government has been working closely with other governments to secure the release of an Australian man kidnapped in Afghanistan in August 2016.”

Citing a request for privacy from the man’s family, and “in the interests of his own safety and well-being,” Australian officials would not comment further, it said.

Read: Irish people split 50/50 on whether we should invite Trump to Ireland>

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Associated Foreign Press
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