BERLIN, Germany (Reuters) -- German authorities have seen the body of a German hostage who died in captivity in Afghanistan and his body has gunshot wounds, Germany's Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.
Germany said it would not give in to the Taliban's demands to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.
"The remains of the dead German are as of this evening in Kabul," Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Jaeger said in a statement. "After an initial visual examination by German authorities, it was noticed that the body had gunshot wounds."
He said it was unclear what the exact cause of death and added that Berlin wanted the remains returned to Germany as soon as possible for a closer examination.
"We will not react to demands from the Taliban," Merkel said in an interview with Germany's ARD public television when asked if she would consider bringing German troops home. "We will not give in to blackmail, that would be dangerous."
A Taliban spokesman claimed two German engineers held hostage had been shot by the Taliban after Germany failed to contact it for negotiations. Afghan and German officials said the spokesman did not speak for the kidnappers.
Germany has over 3,000 German troops stationed in Afghanistan's relatively peaceful north as part of a NATO peacekeeping force.
Merkel reiterated that she wanted Germany to fully renew its Afghan peacekeeping mandate when it expired later this year. E-mail to a friend
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