KABUL – The Taliban said on Monday the health of one of the American University professors they had kidnapped over a year ago is critical.
In August 2016, the Taliban had abducted two professors, US national Kevin King and Australian national Timothy John Weekes, while they were traveling in a university vehicle to their residence in Kabul, located around 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) from the city center.
“One of them, the American professor, Kevin King, is suffering from critical heart disease (cardiac arrest) and kidney illness (renal illness),” Taliban spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid, said in a statement sent to EFE.
King’s illness “has intensified, his feet have swollen and sometimes he becomes unconscious and his condition is getting critical every day,” Mujahid added.
He urged the US to secure his release in exchange for freeing Taliban prisoners being held at the Bagram base in north Afghanistan.
The Taliban “are in a war situation and don’t have access to good health care and treatment, so we can’t provide full treatment to him,” the statement said.
Early this year, both hostages had appeared in a video pleading with then US President-elect Donald Trump to agree to the Taliban’s conditions.
Kidnappings of foreigners, often for ransom or release of militants, are common in Afghanistan.