Video aired of German held hostage by Taliban

The Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television network on Tuesday broadcast a video of a Westerner it said was a German hostage still in captivity of the Taliban in Afghanistan. The minute-long footage showed a stocky man with blondish hair, standing in a rugged mountainous area surrounded by several masked Taliban fighters, some of them carrying automatic rifles and RPG launchers. The man, wearing a thick jacket over a pair of jeans, seemed to be speaking to a camera but there was no voice in the aired footage. Al-Jazeera broadcaster said the man made an appeal to the German government to secure his release. The video also showed four Afghans whom the network said they were kidnapped together with the German.