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Abducted German aid worker seen in video

December 23, 2012

BERLIN, Dec 22: A German aid worker abducted in Pakistan 11 months ago was seen alive in a video broadcast on Saturday urging authorities to fully meet his captors’ demands, warning that otherwise they could kill him within days.    

The undated video was broadcast on Saturday by Dunya News TV channel.

The German foreign ministry in Berlin said it “knows the case” and is aware of the video. A duty spokeswoman declined to elaborate.

Aid organisation German Agro Action declined to confirm whether the video indeed showed one of its two staffers abducted in Multan in January.

Spokeswoman Simone Pott only acknowledged “we know the video”.

The aid worker, identifying himself in the video as 59-year-old Bernd Muehlenbeck, said he was captured by mujahideen but didn’t specify who they were or what their demands were. He only said he was kidnapped “by mujahideen because of the bad policies of the German government”.

In January, gunmen seized two foreign aid workers, Muehlenbeck and an Italian colleague, from just outside their office in Multan and bundled them into a car, according to security officials. The men were working for a development project helping victims of the 2010 floods, the officials said.

Muehlenbeck did not name or explicitly mention his Italian colleague, but repeatedly used the plural when speaking about his situation.

He appealed to the authorities not to attempt freeing them by force. “I would like to live and I would like to see back my family alive,” he said, speaking in English with a slight German accent.

In the video lasting just less than a minute, Muehlenbeck is heard speaking calmly in front of a white wall, wearing glasses and a dark hoody.

He said he could be killed by his captors at any time. “We don’t know when. Maybe today, maybe tomorrow, maybe in three days.”—AP