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Militant Video Shows Kidnapped Afghan Envoy

Abdul Khaliq Farahi in an undated photograph

Abdul Khaliq Farahi in an undated photograph

ISLAMABAD -- A previously unknown militant group has released a video apparently showing an Afghan envoy kidnapped in Pakistan a year and a half ago.

Abdul Khaliq Farahi was kidnapped in Peshawar in September 2008 before he was due to take up his post as ambassador to Pakistan.

In the video, broadcast on local Pakistani TV, Farahi says he has been held captive for 18 months and appeals to Afghan authorities and the international community to save his life.

He does not say what his captors are demanding but says they have accused him of working with the "U.S.-sponsored government of Afghanistan," which he says is punishable by death.

It was the first such video to have appeared since the envoy's abduction.

A previously unknown militant group, Kateeba Salahuddin Ayubi, claimed responsibility for Farahi's kidnapping.

A Peshawar-based journalist with "The News International," which was among media outlets to receive the video, told RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal the group claimed to be from Afghanistan and have links with the Afghan Taliban.

"Before this, we had no information about this group. This is a new name, and they say they have links with the Taliban in Afghanistan," says Mushtaq Yousufzai, who reports from the tribal areas along the countries' shared border. "But in my view, whenever such things happen, or such a high-profile person is kidnapped, groups which we had not known about before claim responsibility."