Drie VN medewerkers ontvoerd in Afghanistan

Dat is even schrikken. Drie VN medewerkers ontvoerd in Afghanistan.

Shqipe Hebibi uit Kosovo ken ik. Zij is de afgelopen drie weken druk bezig geweest om erop toe te zien dat het goed gaat met het tellen van de stemmen in Kabul.

Het nieuws zit me dwars.
Op klaarlichte dag, midden in Kabul gekidnapped worden. Dat kan dus iedereen gebeuren.

De Nederlandse media schenkt er nagenoeg geen aandacht aan.

Voor meer informatie: Afghanistan News

Of lees het onderstaand artikel van Stephen Graham, Associated Press Writer

Deadline Set for Hostages in Afghanistan

Militants threatening to kill three foreign hostages in Afghanistan said they would give officials until Friday to meet their demands that the United Nations withdraw from the country and the U.S. release Guantanamo Bay prisoners. They also warned that any rescue attempt would end in bloodshed.

One day after the three U.N. workers were shown pleading for freedom in an Iraq-style video, the Taliban splinter group claiming to hold them said Monday it had split the trio up to thwart any move by authorities to save them.

"That's our strategy," Ishaq Manzoor, a spokesman for the group, told The Associated Press in a satellite telephone call. "If the government and coalition forces find one of them, we will kill the other two."

Afghan security officials say they have had no contact with the kidnappers, who abducted the three - Annetta Flanigan of Northern Ireland, Filipino diplomat Angelito Nayan and Shqipe Habibi of Kosovo - from a U.N. vehicle at gunpoint in the capital on Thursday.

But Manzoor insisted that a businessman was carrying messages between the militants and the Afghan government and the United Nations. He declined to elaborate.

On Sunday, the spokesman had suggested that the group, called Jaish-al Muslimeen, or Army of Muslims, would start killing the hostages on Wednesday if its demands were not met.

The group also insists that Britain withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, and that the United States release all of its Muslim prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

But on Monday he told AP that "we will wait until Friday for the response of the government and the U.N. After that, we will do what we have said we will do."

U.N. spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva declined to comment on whether contact had been established.

In the video, the hostages are shown sitting hunched together against the bare wall of a room in an undisclosed location. Both women are crying, but all three look unharmed. The three were in Afghanistan to help manage the Oct. 9 presidential election,

An unseen questioner repeatedly asks them in English why they have come to Afghanistan, then why America and NATO have sent troops to Afghanistan and Iraq.

"We have nothing to do with America," Nayan says calmly. "We are here for the Afghan people." Habibi explains that she is from Kosovo - the mainly Muslim autonomous region of Serbia - but her abductor seems unsure where that is.

"It is a Muslim country," she says. "I thought I could help a Muslim country, and I just want to go home and see my brother."

Toward the end of the 15 minute video, obtained by APTN in neighboring Pakistan, the interviewer appears to ask Flanigan to cry for the camera, to which she replies: "I have cried and cried and I can't cry anymore."

Nayan asks: "Are we going to be released?" and the tape ends.

lees verder/more ....

Associated Press writers Amir Shah in Kabul and Noor Khan in Kandahar, and Paul Haven in Islamabad, Pakistan contributed to this report.

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