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Taliban claim abduction of French executive

Latest update : 2008-06-02

The French businessman kidnapped along with his three colleagues in southeastern Afghanistan on Thursday is currently held by the Taliban, a spokesperson for the Islamic militant organisation told our correspondent in the country. (Report: C.Billet)

The French businessman kidnapped in Ghazni province on May 29, along with his three Afghan colleagues, is currently being held by the Taliban, a spokesperson for the Islamic militant organisation, Zabiullah Mudjahid, told FRANCE 24's correspondent in Afghanistan, Claire Billet. 


The four were kidnapped on a road connecting Ghazni province to the southern part of the country. While the route is reportedly notorious for ambushes and attacks, the Afghan police stay silent on the subject, refusing to confirm the latest abduction.


“You can ask the Head of Information here, he won't confirm it. He has many contacts and has been given no indication there was a kidnapping,” says Ghazni province’s Chief of Police Mohammed Mudjahed. “I can't confirm it either because if this Frenchman had been taken by the Taliban, someone would have seen him!”


Despite the official stonewalling, one officer told FRANCE 24 that more than 40 Taliban units, representing over 1000 men, were active in the Ghazni province


Sher Ahmed Aidan, a local journalist belonging to the Association of South East Asian Journalists, had received a call from the Taliban concerning the kidnapping:


“The Taliban called me and said they had a foreigner and his driver. That's how I heard about this French man,” Aidan told FRANCE 24.  “They didn’t know his nationality, they were just talking about a foreigner and Afghans in a car.”


It appears that the Taliban commander holding the hostage had contacted his superiors. These senior leaders are expected to begin negotiations with French authorities for the hostage’s release.

Date created : 2008-06-01