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Was Kutty killed because he was Indian?

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November 24, 2005 13:37 IST

Afghan authorities are probing whether Taliban insurgents kidnapped and executed Indian road worker M R Kutty because of his nationality, Afghanistan Ambassador Masood Khalili said on Wednesday.

"We are working on whether he was abducted because of his nationality. At the moment, it appears they just wanted the projects stopped," he said on the sidelines of an award ceremony in New Delhi.

Kutty, whose decapitated body was found on Wednesday, was abducted from his car along with an Afghan driver and two guards in Afghanistan's Nimroz on Saturday.

While the Indian was executed, his Afghan driver was released.

"Indians, who make up a tiny minority in Afghanistan, enjoy the trust and respect of Afghan people," Khalili said and called Kutty's killing a terrorist act.

However, the ambassador rejected suggestions that Afghan authorities reacted slowly to the Indian's abduction.

"Afghan authorities rushed as soon as the Taliban announced Kutty's abduction. There was no delay in response."

Khalili, who was presented with Unity International's Lifetime Achievement Award in Diplomacy, also ruled out revival of the Taliban movement in his country.

"They are terrorists who are now in patches, cornered to the south and east of Afghanistan," Khalili, whose ten-year term as Afghan Ambassador to India draws to a close soon, said.
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