Taliban: Kidnapped US Professor Is Extremely Sick

Kevin King's condition worsens by the day, militants say
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2017 12:07 AM CDT
Taliban: US Hostage's Health Has 'Exponentially Worsened'
This combination image taken from video released June 21, 2017, shows kidnapped teachers Timothy Weekes, top, and Kevin King, who were both abducted by insurgents in Afghanistan in August 2016.   (EL-EMARA Taliban via AP)

An American professor kidnapped in Afghanistan more than a year ago is extremely ill and getting worse all the time, the Taliban says. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid says 60-year-old Kevin King has "dangerous" heart and kidney diseases that have "exponentially worsened" during his time in captivity. "His illness has intensified, his feet have swollen, and sometimes he becomes unconscious and his condition worsens every day," Mujahid says, per Reuters. "We have tried to treat him [from] time to time, but we do not have medical facilities as we are in a war situation." Mujahid also warned that it wouldn't be the Taliban's fault if he dies, ABC News reports.

King and a colleague, Australian citizen Timothy Weekes, were seized by militants last August as they traveled between the Kabul compound they lived in and the American University of Afghanistan, where they worked. Both men are believed to be in the hands of the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network, the group an American-Canadian couple and their three children were rescued from earlier this month. The US State Department called for the immediate release of the two men, who pleaded for then President-elect Trump to help them in a video militants released in January. (A US raid last year missed King and Weekes by hours.)

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