July 29, 2007

Autopsy Report: German Hostage Died of Gunshot Wounds

No surprise here: German hostage Ruediger Diedrich, kidnapped last week in Wardak province, Afghanistan, was still alive when he was cold-bloodedly gunned down by his Taliban captors. Mr. Diedrich collapsed during a forced march through a desert region, and was shot when he couldn't keep up. There had been questions whether he was already dead from a heart attack or complications of diabetes when his abductors shot him in the knees and back. Via Deutsche Welle:

An autopsy performed on the body of the hostage's colleague, which was found last week and returned to Germany, showed the man had died of gunshot wounds. German officials were previously uncertain whether the 44-year-old was executed or died of the [rest of line is missing].

The mass-circulation Bild am Sonntag said the man had been shot in the knees and back. It quoted German security sources after an autopsy carried out in Cologne on Thursday.

The German Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the report and staff at the forensic institution where the autopsy was carried out said further tests were being made before a final report was released, probably in the first week in August. The dead man leaves behind a widow and a school-aged son.

The surviving hostage, 62-year-old Rudolf B., is now in his second week of captivity. His abductors are demanding the release of 10 Taliban prisoners in Afghan custody.

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