Concerns are growing for the safety of Italian journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo and his two Afghan translators kidnapped by Taliban forces.
The Taliban’s chief commander in south west Afghanistan Mullah Dadullah claimed, through a spokesperson, that his men “arrested” a group of three who were in the area without permission.
Meanwhile activity is intense in the Italian foreign ministry as staff attempt to locate its national.
The Italian ambassador in the Afghan capital Kabul, Ettore Sequi spoke to media he said.
“ We think that Daniele Mastrogiacomo has been taken by the Taliban and we are continuing in our efforts to trace him using our contacts on the ground.”
The three men were abducted near Nad Ali the heart of opium operations in Helmand province.
On a chilling note Dadullah communicated that the group will be tried for spying and if found guilty will be beheaded in accordance with Sharia law.
The abduction comes as NATO led forces continue with a major offensive – launched on Tuesday – on a Taliban stronghold in the north of the province.