KABUL - In a statement issued by the Taliban on Monday morning, the insurgent group warned that the American hostage they are holding, Kevin King, is extremely ill and needs urgent health care.
The insurgent group kidnapped King, along with an Australian Tim Weeks just over a year ago. Both were professors at the American University of Kabul.
The Taliban said in their statement: “Among the two, the American teacher (Kevin King) has a dangerous heart and kidney disease.”
“We have periodically tried to treat and care for him but since we are facing war conditions and do not readily have access to health facilities therefore we are unable to deliver complete treatment.
“The condition of the said teacher has exponentially worsened, his feet have begun swelling, he frequently losses consciousness and his health is deteriorating rapidly.
“Since the American side does not care about the life and death of its nationals hence we are warning them to accept the demands of the Islamic Emirate presented for the freedom of these two detainees and secure their release.
“However if they insist on delaying this matter and the illness of Kevin King becomes incurable or he loses his life, the Islamic Emirate will not be held responsible due to the fact that the opposition does not want to bring an end to the issue at hand and does not consider the life of its nationals important,” the Taliban said.
In response to this warning the Director of Communications for the American University of Afghanistan, Zubaida Akbar, said in a statement that its Board of Trustees, students, staff and faculty are deeply saddened and disturbed to receive the news about the deteriorating health condition of Kevin King through a statement released by the Taliban.
“Kevin King and his colleague Tim Weeks are AUAF professors and were abducted by the Taliban in August 2016. Mr. King and Mr. Weeks have been in captivity for more than a year, away from their loved ones.
“They are innocent victims of a criminal abduction. They came to Afghanistan to teach Afghan youth and contribute to building a peaceful Afghanistan. They have done no harm to anyone. We strongly urge the Taliban immediately to release Mr. King and Mr. Weeks unharmed.
On a personal level, a message was sent to King via the statement, which read: “Kevin, we are immensely sad to hear about your health situation. Please know that you and Tim remain in our thoughts and prayers. We will not stop trying to work for your release. We urge your kidnappers to release you at once.”