Kidnapped Italian charity worker shown on television

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The Independent Online

A video of an Italian aid worker kidnapped nearly two weeks ago in Kabul has been broadcast on an Afghan television station.

A video of an Italian aid worker kidnapped nearly two weeks ago in Kabul has been broadcast on an Afghan television station.

Clementina Cantoni, 32, who worked for Care International, was shown sitting with two men standing next to her. They had assault rifles in their hands and were pointing them at her head. Responding to prompts from a man who was not shown on the video, Ms Cantoni identified herself and named her father, her mother and an uncle.

The tape, which was broadcast yesterday by Tolo TV, an independent station, then zoomed in on the face of the Italian, who had a brown rug wrapped around her and a blue scarf over her head. Ms Cantoni spoke quietly on the recording and looked nervous. The station did not say how it had obtained the tape.

The Italian foreign ministry welcomed the video as evidence that Ms Cantoni was alive. "The video is reliable. Thus it's reassuring that it shows that Ms Cantoni is in good health," a spokesman said. "The contacts continue."

The aid worker was abducted by armed men on 16 May as she was being driven to her home in the capital. President Hamid Karzai paid tribute to Ms Cantoni on Friday, calling her a "daughter of Afghanistan".

Posters seeking information about her have been plastered across the city, and Afghan widows who benefited from her aid work have held rallies demanding her release. AP

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