Taliban threatens to kill Western hostages in new video

Taliban threatens to kill Western hostages in new video
The Afghan Taliban have released a video of a Canadian man his American wife who say their captor will kill them if Kabul does not stop executing Taliban prisoners.
2 min read
31 August, 2016
Militants have threatened to kill the family unless Kabul stops executing Taliban prisoners [AFP]

The Afghan Taliban has released a video showing a Canadian man and his American wife warning that their Afghan captors will kill them and their children unless the Kabul government ends its executions of Taliban prisoners.

The video, which was uploaded on Tuesday on YouTube, came to public attention through the Site Intelligence Group, which monitors extremist activity online.

In the video, Canadian Joshua Boyle and American Caitlan Coleman, who were kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2012, call on Canada and the United States to pressure the Afghan government into changing its policy on executing captured Taliban prisoners.

The US State Department on Tuesday said it was evaluating the validity of the video.

"We remain concerned, obviously, about the welfare of Caitlan and her family, and we continue to urge for their immediate release on humanitarian grounds," State Department spokesman John Kirby said.

Coleman has reportedly given birth to two children in captivity.

Meanwhile, a Canadian government spokesman said his country was aware of the latest video, but the government will not comment further or release any information that might risk endangering the safety of Canadian citizens abroad.

In the video, Boyle said the Taliban "will execute us, women and children included, if the policies of the Afghan government are not overturned, either by the Afghan government or by Canada, somehow, or the United States."

Coleman, wearing a black headscarf, added: "I know this must be very terrifying and horrifying for my family to hear that these men are willing to go to these lengths, but they are."

The couple set off in the summer of 2012 for a journey that took them to Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and then to Afghanistan, where they were kidnapped.