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Afghanistan News Alert

Afghanistan: New video of American, Australian hostages released June 21 /update 1

Taliban releases new video of Australian and American hostages on June 21

22 Jun 10:55 PM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 6/21/2017, 12:00 AM until 7/1/2017, 11:59 PM (Asia/Kabul). COUNTRY/REGION Afghanistan

Event

The Afghan Taliban released a video on Wednesday, June 21, showing two Australian and American hostages. In the video, Timothy Weeks and Kevin King are seen calling for the United States and Australia to negotiate a prisoner exchange with the Taliban to secure their release. The video has not been independently verified, but was released by the main spokesman for the Taliban.

Context

Weeks and King, both professors at the American University in Kabul, were abducted by four Taliban militants while in their vehicle on Dar-ul-Aman Road in the capital Kabul on the evening of August 7, 2016. Although abductions are common in Afghanistan, this was the first reported kidnapping targeting employees of the elite private university in Afghanistan, which attracts numerous visiting fellows from Western institutions.

Advice

Individuals present in Afghanistan are advised to remain extremely vigilant and to report any suspicious objects or behavior.

As a reminder, some Western governments advise their citizens against travel to the country due to a high threat from kidnapping, terrorism, and frequent and widespread lethal attacks against Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, domestic and international political and civilian targets, and individuals working in the humanitarian and reconstruction fields. Travel to the country should only be undertaken with proper security protocols in place.

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