US contractor reportedly kidnapped in eastern Afghanistan

A US citizen has been kidnapped in ’s eastern Khost province, according to media reports.

Taliban warns of more US dead after Trump says he cancelled peace talks

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Newsweek reported that a 57-year old US contractor was abducted last week in Khost, citing unnamed US officials.

The state department declined to comment.

Newsweek reported that officials believed a Taliban-linked group, the Haqqani network, had orchestrated the abduction.

Sources close to the Haqqani network denied kidnapping the American when contacted by Reuters.

A Taliban leader who declined to be named told Reuters they had kidnapped an American in Khost but did not provide further details. “Well, to us, the important achievement is the American is in our possession. We will provide other information to media later,” he said.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, told Reuters they knew of media reports of the abduction but were not aware of it and were checking with their commanders.

A senior western diplomat in Kabul said they were worried that splinter groups within the Taliban could be behind the kidnapping, highlighting worries about the group lacking unity.

The diplomat did not confirm or deny the kidnapping.

The incident comes amid aimed at striking a deal to end their 18-year war in Afghanistan.

Donald Trump abruptly called off the negotiations after a US soldier was killed in an attack by the militant group in September.

Talks have since resumed but have suffered setbacks due to multiple attacks, including a December suicide bombing of a US base outside Kabul that killed two civilians.

Source : theguardian[dot]com