US appeals for kidnap victim's release

WASHINGTON - The United States on Wednesday made a new appeal for the release of an American in Pakistan three years after he was kidnapped by Al-Qaeda militants.
Warren Weinstein, a development expert who had lived in Lahore since 2006 and learned Urdu, was snatched in Lahore on August 13, 2011. He later appeared in a video in which, under apparent coercion, he asked the United States to free Al-Qaeda prisoners.
US officials "strongly condemn kidnappings of any kind, call for the immediate release of the victim and the prosecution of those responsible," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters when asked about his case.
Harf said she had no update on Weinstein's condition. The United States has previously ruled out negotiating for the hostage's freedom.
His family has voiced fear for the health of Weinstein, whose 73rd birthday was last month, saying he suffered from asthma, heart problems and high blood pressure.

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