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Taliban 'Executes Two German Hostages'
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Taliban fighters have executed two German hostages on Saturday in Afghanistan, a purported Taliban spokesman Yousuf Ahmadi told Xinhua.

The first hostage was shot dead in the central Ghazni province as the Taliban demands were not met just after the deadline of 12: 00 PM (07:30 GMT) expired, Ahmadi said from an undisclosed place by telephone.

The second hostage was killed about one hour later, he said.

The German government said on Saturday that it cannot confirm Taliban's claim that they have executed German hostages in Afghanistan.

"We take the claim very serious and are looking into all clues. So far we still have no independent confirmation," said German foreign ministry spokesman Martin Jaeger.

The Taliban has demanded German troops should be withdrawn from this country and Taliban prisoners released by Afghan authorities before the deadline.

The two hostages were abducted together with five Afghans in the central Wardak province on Wednesday.

Ahmadi did not mention the conditions of at least 18 other South Korean hostages, who were kidnapped by Taliban militants in Ghazni province on Thursday afternoon.

The Taliban has also demanded the withdrawal of the 200 South Korean troops from this country, while the South Korean government said the soldiers would be pulled out at the end of 2007 as scheduled.

Taliban militants have carried out kidnappings in this country over the past two years frequently, and some hostages were killed by the Taliban brutally.

(Xinhua News Agency July 21, 2007)

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