Sunday, October 31
Video shows U.N. Afghan hostages
BBC News, October 31, 2004

Three UN workers held hostage by militants in Afghanistan have appeared in a video shown by Arabic TV.

The three appeared unharmed in the video, in which their kidnappers called for the release of prisoners from Afghan jails and Guantanamo Bay.

Filipino Angelito Nayan, Annetta Flanigan from Northern Ireland and Shqipe Habibi from Kosovo were seized on Thursday at gunpoint.

They were in Afghanistan to help organise recent presidential elections.
... ...

In the video footage, the three hostages were shown crouching against a wall beside a masked man.

A man off camera asks the hostages why they have come to Afghanistan.

"There are many organisations that come here and do many things for the Afghan people - build roads, build schools, irrigate fields," a tearful Ms Flanigan replies.

"And we thought that it's also useful to come here in Kabul in Afghanistan - we didn't come to do any harm."

Taleban links

There have been repeated claims that a militant Islamic group, the Army of Muslims (Jaish-e-Muslimeen) is holding the three foreigners.

Several messages have been released issuing threats to the lives of the hostages unless Afghan prisoners are released and foreign forces withdrawn from Afghanistan.

The militants also want an end to UN operations there.
... [...more]
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