Murder in Afghanistan Autopsy Shows Kidnappers Shot German Hostage

A German hostage victim whose body was found in Afghanistan in late July was shot by his kidnappers, an autopsy has found.


The kidnappers of the German hostages in Afghanistan (in a video from Tuesday): Two shots killed hostage Rüdiger Diedrich.
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The kidnappers of the German hostages in Afghanistan (in a video from Tuesday): Two shots killed hostage Rüdiger Diedrich.

Autopsy results released on Thursday afternoon show that a German hostage found dead in Afghanistan just over a week ago died of injuries sustained from gunshot wounds. A spokesman for Germany's Foreign Ministry said Rüdiger Diedrich was shot and killed by his captors after a circulatory collapse.

Initially, German officials thought the hostage might have died of exhaustion after being taken on forced marches by his suspected Taliban kidnappers in mountainous Afghan terrain. An autopsy performed after his body was returned to Germany, however, determined that he had in fact suffered from a circulatory collapse, but that it didn't kill him. Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Jäger said Thursday that his kidnappers shot him after his collapse. "After his collapse, the victim, who was still alive at the time, was shot twice," he said.

The autopsy report states that victim suffered a circulatory collapse because of "extreme duress caused during the kidnapping." The collapse, however, "did not cause the hostage's death." It adds that two initial bullets killed the hostage and that four further shots were fired at his body after his death.

Diedrich's corpse has been kept since being returned by jet to Germany at Cologne's Institute for Forensic Medicine. A second German hostage, identified only as Rudolf B., is still in the hands of the kidnappers. Intense negotiations are underway in an effort to secure his release.

An engineer from the German city of Teterow in the northeastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Diedrich was kidnapped together with colleague Rudolf B. on July 18. His body was found on July 22.

dsl/dpa/AP/Reuters

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