Kabul, Jan 12: The Afghan Taliban has released a new video showing an American and an Australian who were kidnapped by the group last year. According to a report in Khaama Press on Thursday, the hostages were identified as Timothy Weekes, an English teacher from Sydney; and Kevin King, a professor from the US.
In the 13-minute video released on Wednesday, they were seen begging US President-elect Donald Trump to make a deal for their release. Both were teaching at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul and were abducted in last August from their vehicle in western Kabul, said the report.
American hostage Weekes appealed for Trump's help saying: "Donald Trump, sir, I ask you please. This is in your hands... If we stay here for much longer we will be killed. I don't want to die here." The US State Department declined to comment on the video or confirm its authenticity.
Australia's Foreign Ministry said it has been "working closely with other governments to secure the release of an Australian man kidnapped in Afghanistan in August 2016", but declined to comment further "in the interests of his safety and well-being".
Khaama Press quoted officials privy of the developments as saying that the two teachers are being held by the Haqqani terrorist network, which is close to the Taliban. Meanwhile, a senior Afghan official told CNN that swapping Taliban militants in government custody for Western hostages would be politically costly for the government in Kabul.