Taliban yet to decide fate of Italian journalist

The Taliban have yet to decide the fate of Italian journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo, Taliban spokesman Kari Mohammad Yousif Ahmadi said Thursday.

Ahmadi told DPA they captured the reporter for La Repubblica newspaper and his two Afghan assistants in Helmand province Monday because Mastrogiacomo is a spy for British troops.

‘The prisoner has confessed,’ said Ahmadi, confirming that the hostage is an Italian after first reports said the journalist was British. ‘The leadership has not decided his fate.’

The reporter for La Repubblica newspaper has been missing since Sunday, according to the Italian foreign ministry. Ezio Mauro, the paper’s editor-in-chief, said Mastrogiacomo had been in the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar in southern Afghanistan and was on his way to Helmand province, where NATO forces launched a major spring offensive against the insurgents Tuesday.

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