NEW DELHI, April 30 (UPI) -- India's foreign secretary denounced the Taliban Monday for the killing of an Indian engineer who had been taken hostage in Afghanistan.
Taliban militants abducted K. Suryanarayana and his Afghan driver and threatened to kill the engineer unless all Indian nationals left Afghanistan by Sunday night.
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi told the Financial Times in New Delhi by telephone the engineer was shot when he tried to escape. An Afghan highway police patrol found his decapitated body and head in the province of Zabul.
Suryanarayana had been working as an engineer for a Bahrain-based company contracted to expand the mobile phone network in the country's southern provinces.
The newspaper said New Delhi has also been concerned that Pakistan may be covertly backing the Taliban in attacks on Indian nationals in an attempt to prevent India from increasing its influence in Afghanistan, where it is engaged in numerous aid and reconstruction projects.