RealNews

UN Hostages Held in Separate Hideouts, Captors Say

Militants claiming to hold three UN hostages in Afghanistan said they were being kept in different mountainous locations, and repeated threats to kill them if a rescue attempt was made. “They are not in one location, they are in three different districts,” the commander of Jaishul-Muslimeen (Army of Muslims), Akbar Agha, told AFP by phone. Agha said that if Afghan security forces looking for the hostages managed to free one, the other two would be killed. “Even if they get to one district and get access to one of the hostages, the other two will be killed immediately in the other two places,” he said. Jaishul-Muslimeen, a murky splinter group of the fundamentalist Taliban militia who were toppled from power three years ago, has threatened to execute the UN election workers by midday (0730 GMT) Wednesday unless foreign forces quit Afghanistan and the United States frees all Taliban prisoners. Annetta Flanigan from Northern Ireland, Shqipe Habibi from Kosovo and Filipino Angelito Nayan were abducted at gunpoint last Thursday from their car on a busy road in Kabul in broad daylight. The group said it gave Al-Jazeera the video of the trio, which was broadcast on the Arabic television channel Sunday. The UN confirmed the three people in the video were their abducted employees.The images showed the three huddled together on a floor against a blank wall, apparently inside a room. There was no indication of their location. The three had been working with the United Nations to oversee Afghanistan’s first presidential election on October 9. Afghan security forces have been concentrating their hunt on the Paghman valley west of Kabul, a known lair of kidnappers and bandits and a haunt of some militant Islamic groups. Full Story

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