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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 September 2005, 19:04 GMT 20:04 UK
Taleban 'kill six kidnapped men'
Taleban fighters
The Taleban have increased attacks ahead of 18 September polls
Taleban fighters in Afghanistan say they have killed six hostages, including a UK contractor.

A spokesman, Abdul Latif Hakimi, said five Afghan men had been shot following a decision by a Taleban council.

He said the British man had also been killed because the Taleban believed he was a "military official".

The Taleban say one of the Afghans was an election candidate, Khan Mohammad, but Afghan authorities say they cannot confirm this or the other deaths.

A British Foreign Office Minister, Kim Howells, told reporters that a body found in Farah province in western Afghanistan was thought to be that of the British man, David Addison.

Mr Addison, a lorry driver, was abducted along with his interpreter by suspected Taleban fighters on Wednesday.

The fate of the interpreter is unknown.

Rise in attacks

Remnants of the former Taleban regime have increased attacks ahead of parliamentary polls set for 18 September.

More than 1,000 people have died in militant-linked violence in southern Afghanistan this year.

Mr Hakimi identified another of the victims as Khan Mohammad, who was standing for the Kandahar provincial council.


A third victim was named by French news agency AFP as Haji Mohammed Nawab, a district official. The other three were reportedly policemen.

All were abducted from a road 90km (56 miles) north-west of Kandahar on Friday.

Four other candidates have so far been killed ahead of the elections.

Meanwhile, doctors say two bodies found in southern Afghanistan on Thursday are those of missing Japanese tourists.

They said dental records have confirmed the identities of Jun Fukusho, 44, and Shinobu Hasegawa, 30, both teachers from Hiroshima.

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