Afghan kidnapper says he killed Italian hostage
KABUL: A man claiming to have kidnapped an Italian aid worker in Afghanistan told Reuters on Friday he had killed her, but a government spokesman said she was still alive. Clementina Cantoni, 32, who works for the CARE International aid agency, was snatched on Monday when four gunmen stopped her vehicle on a central Kabul street and bundled her into a white Toyota car.
Timoor Shah, who has claimed in several conversations with media to be holding Cantoni, said he had killed her after President Hamid Karzai's government refused to accept his demands. "We strangled her with a rope at nine o'clock last night," said Shah, who was contacted on Cantoni's mobile phone number. "I will not give her body to anyone," he said. Karzai's spokesman, Jawed Ludin, dismissed the man's claim and said Cantoni was still alive. Cantoni's abduction raised fresh fears among Kabul's 2,000-strong foreign community of Iraq-style kidnappings by anti-government insurgents but officials said the kidnapper was Shah, the leader of a criminal gang. reuters