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Taliban resurgent – beheads Polish contract engineer

February 11, 2009

UPDATE – A spokesman for the Pakistan Taliban claimed, Saturday, that they have carried out the threat to behead Piotr Stanczak, the Polish engineer kidnapped in the northwest borderlands in Pakistan last September.

“We have beheaded the Polish engineer after the government failed to meet our demands,” said the spokesman, as reported by Pakistani media, referring to an earlier ultimatum whereby the Taliban threatened to kill the hostage if prisoners were not released and Islamic law was not put in place in certain regions of Pakistan.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk, in Munich this morning for an international security conference, says he has unofficial information which confirms that Stanczak is indeed dead.

The deadline for the ultimatum passed last Wednesday. It is reported that the Taliban have demanded 200,000 rupees (2,000 euro) for the return of the body.

On Thursday, Pakistani political scientist Aimal Khan claimed that he had had contact with the kidnappers personally and said the Polish engineer was alive and that the Taliban were still willing to negotiate his release.

Prime Minister Tusk said earlier that no ransom had been paid and his government would not negotiate with such groups.

As the deadline loomed last week, Dorota Bartula, an ex-partner of Stanczak and mother to his 13 year old son, appealed for the Polish government to be more active in securing his release. She also demanded that if the Taliban went ahead with their threat to kill the engineer – who works for the Geofizyka Krakow mining exploration company based in south Poland – then she would call for a report into why the Foreign Ministry had not done more to save him.

The Polish engineer was working for Geofizyka Krakow when he was abducted by armed assailants on September 28, some 200 km south-east of Islamabad. Three Pakistanis, a driver and two bodyguards, who accompanied the Polish engineer were shot dead during the kidnap. (pg)

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