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Poland confirms death of kidnapped engineer

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2009-02-07

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said there was an "informal confirmation" that a Polish hostage in Pakistan had been killed by his captors. Piotr Stanczak was seized on Sept. 28 by armed men who killed his two drivers and bodyguard.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Saturday "we have an informal confirmation" that a Polish hostage in Pakistan has been killed by his captors.


The Taliban announced Saturday it had killed a Polish engineer kidnapped last year in Pakistan, but the Polish embassy in Islamabad was not immediately able to confirm the claim.
Piotr Stanczak was seized on September 28 by armed men who killed his two drivers and bodyguard in restive northwest Pakistan, where he was working for a Polish energy company.
"We have beheaded the Polish engineer after the government failed to meet our demands and we will not hand over his body," a Taliban spokesman said by telephone.
The claim to have murdered Stanczak came just hours after Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk told reporters that no ransom would be paid.
The kidnappers had demanded a large ransom and the release of six jailed militants in exchange for the engineer's release.
They had initially threatened to kill him on February 4, but later extended the deadline for two days.
The Polish embassy was aware of the claim that Stanczak had been murdered but had no proof, a spokesman said.
"I can confirm we have received information that Taliban are claiming they killed him. But we don't have proof of it. We don't have any official confirmation," said Piotr Adamkiewicz.
"We are working on it. His family is aware of the information."
Pakistani security officials said they were aware of the Taliban claim, but were also unable to confirm it.
Pakistan's northwest has been wracked by violence since hundreds of Taliban and Al-Qaeda rebels escaped the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001.

Date created : 2009-02-07