March 13, 2006 -- A Taliban spokesman said today that four foreign workers taken hostage in southeastern Afghanistan on March 11 were executed on the orders of the movement's leader, Mullah Omar.
There was no independent confirmation of the killings.
The Taliban said the four -- three Albanians and one German -- were spies for the United States.
The four worked for a cleaning company in Kabul. The company, Ecolog, said all four were Albanians.
The Taliban was chased from power in late 2001. Since then, Taliban militants have attacked U.S. forces and Afghan troops, and kidnapped or killed foreign workers whom the movement routinely brands as spies.