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American Hostage in Pakistan Pleads for Help

An American contractor who was kidnapped two years ago in Pakistan by al-Qaida has appealed to U.S. President Barack Obama to help negotiate his release.

In a 13-minute video sent to several media outlets on Thursday, Warren Weinstein, 72, looks gaunt and tired. He says he is not in good health and feels "totally abandoned and forgotten".

Weinstein was abducted from his house in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore in August 2011.

The video, which showed no obvious signs of when it had been recorded, was created by al-Sahab, the media wing of al-Qaida. A handwritten letter that appeared to have been drafted by Weinstein and was dated Oct. 3, 2013 was distributed along with the video.

Al-Qaida says it will release Weinstein if the U.S. halts airstrikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. It has also demanded the release of all al-Qaida and Taliban suspects around the world.

The White House has called for Weinstein's release, but says it will not negotiate with al-Qaida.

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