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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 July 2007, 08:43 GMT 09:43 UK
Third German in Afghan 'kidnap'
Map of Afghanistan
A German journalist and at least one Afghan have been kidnapped in Afghanistan's eastern province of Kunar, local officials have said.

The men were said to be trying to reach a village where civilians were killed in a Nato air strike.

Two other Germans were kidnapped in central Afghanistan last week. The body of one was later found by a road.

Afghan authorities are also trying to secure the release of 23 South Koreans being held by Taleban militants.

The German foreign ministry said it was investigating the latest kidnapping claims.

Local officials have started a search, but a Taleban spokesman said he had no information on the abductions.

Village visit

A senior security official in Kunar told the BBC that the German journalist had disappeared when visiting the village of Sangar in Wattapour district.

"We have sent a delegation to investigate this, at this stage we have to assume that they have been kidnapped," he said.

A local hotelier told the BBC that the journalist, who he said worked for a German magazine, had been staying at his lodge when insurgents arrived at the door. They dragged the journalist out of the building and took him away.

The hotelier said he was taken with two Afghans, a driver and an interpreter, but local officials say only two people were kidnapped.

Taleban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said on Wednesday that the group would kill some of the South Korean hostages because talks with the Afghan government had stalled.

His claims could not be independently verified.

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