KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, Apr 30 (Reuters) A kidnapped Indian telecommunications worker has been found beheaded in southern Afghanistan, police said today.
The man and his Afghan driver were kidnapped on Friday. Taliban insurgents yesterday said they took both men and vowed to kill the Indian unless India withdrew all its workers from Afghanistan in 24 hours.
''We found the body, beheaded, in a ditch by a road, about 10 km from where he was kidnapped,'' said Mohammad Mir, a district police chief in the southern province of Zabul.
The man, identified by the Indian government as K. Suryanarayan, 41, was kidnapped with his driver after gunmen stopped their vehicle on a road in Zabul province.
Mir said there was no word on the fate of the Afghan driver.
Suryanarayan appeared to have been killed last evening and his body had been taken to Ghazni province, he said.
Taliban spokesman Qari Mohammad Yousuf said by telephone Suryanarayan had been shot dead last evening while trying to escape.
Violence and lawlessness across much of the Afghan south has crippled development, and the main task of thousands of NATO troops due soon to move into the region will be to ensure sufficient security for reconstruction.
Militants have kidnapped aid agency staff and foreign company workers, who the Taliban say are supporting the Western-backed government.
Taliban spokesman Yousuf yesterday said Suryanarayan was a U.S. spy and he would be killed if India did not withdraw all of its nationals working in Afghanistan by 1900 hrs (IST) day.
India has close relations with Afghanistan and is involved in numerous aid and reconstruction projects.
Indian officials yesterday said India was committed to maintaining a presence in Afghanistan to help work on economic development.
Reuters SI DB1144