Source AP ©

Afghan police said to have participated in kidnapping German

Afghan police was blamed for complicity with the Taliban by a German engineer held captive in Afghanistan for three months.

In a telephone interview with the private Antenne Bayern radio station, made shortly after his release Wednesday, Ruldolf Blechschmidt said that police traveling with him and another German engineer to provide security had been in cahoots with the captors.

"It was a deal," the broadcaster quoted Blechschmidt as saying. The former captive said police had tipped the militants off that they would be traveling to the area on July 18, the day of their capture. The other engineer, Ruediger Diedrich died in captivity.

Local elders handed over Blechschmidt and four Afghans to officials from Afghanistan's intelligence service Wednesday in Wardak province's Jaghato district.

After spending a night at the German embassy in Kabul, Blechschmidt was on his way back to Germany, the Foreign Ministry said.

Blechschmidt told the radio the captives were kept in terrible conditions and forced to sleep out in the open at a mountain camp 3,000 meters (9840 feet) above sea level, although Blechschmidt said he only had summer clothing.

"The were very bad conditions," he was quoted as saying.

Blechschmidt also charged that his German colleague was shot by the Taliban because he couldn't keep pace. Diedrich's body was found dead of gunshot wounds on July 21.

"The Taliban said it was an accident, but it did not look like one," Blechschmidt was quoted as saying.

A series of high-profile kidnappings by Taliban militants and criminal gangs have led to ransom payments and prisoner releases in Afghanistan, apparently fueling a rise in abductions in recent months.

Blechschmidt said in a video obtained by APTN on Monday that he was in poor health, and pleaded with the German and Afghan governments to cut a deal with the Taliban before winter.

The Taliban took four Red Cross employees hostage on Sept. 27 during efforts to facilitate the German's release. The four were released in good health two days later.

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