Poland condemned as "bestial" the apparent beheading of one its citizens by Pakistani militants, a killing that underscored the challenges facing a new US envoy who arrived in the region Monday to try to stem the terror threat.
Pakistan has witnessed several attacks on foreigners in recent months as its overall security has deteriorated amid a growing al-Qaida and Taliban-led insurgency that is also destabilizing neighboring Afghanistan. In early February, an American UN worker was abducted in the southwestern city of Quetta, purportedly by separatists.
The Polish hostage, Piotr Stanczak, was abducted close to the Afghan border on September 28 by armed men.
On Sunday, the Taliban released to local and foreign media organizations a seven-minute video of him apparently being beheaded. A man on the film says Stanczak was killed because the Pakistan government refused to exchange him for Taliban prisoners.
If confirmed, Stanczak's death would apparently be the first killing of a Western hostage in Pakistan since US journalist Daniel Pearl was beheaded in 2002.
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