PROOF OF LIFE

Afghan Taliban Releases Video of U.S., Australian Captives

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The Afghan Taliban has released a video purporting to show an American and an Australian who were kidnapped from Kabul in August. The 13-minute video, said to have been made on Jan. 1, appears to be the first proof of life for the two captives—identified as U.S. citizen Kevin King and Australian citizen Timothy Weekes. Weekes is shown in the video addressing President-elect Donald Trump with a plea that prisoners held at the Bagram military airfield be released, as well as some prisoners at the Pol-e Charkhi prison. “If they are not exchanged for us, then we will be killed,” Weekes says in the video, which was distributed to media outlets Wednesday by the Taliban. He also breaks down and offers a message for his mother, telling her, “I know you are sick in hospital. I know I may never see you again.... If we stay here for much longer, we will be killed. I don’t want to die here.” Both men appear emotionally distraught throughout the video, repeatedly begging to be released. The two men were abducted by gunmen dressed as police at the American University in Kabul on Aug. 7. U.S. officials said a rescue operation was carried out to save the pair in September, but the captives weren’t found at the raided location.