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Italian Hostage Held in Afghanistan Appears in Video

An Italian reporter held hostage by the Taleban in Afghanistan has appeared speaking in a video received by a non-governmental relief agency.

The Italian aid group, Emergency, said in a statement the videotape of kidnapped journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo was received Wednesday.

In it, Mastrogiacomo says "Today is March 12, it is 8 a.m. in Afghanistan." He says he is in good physical conditions and also appeals to the Italian government to work for his release.

Taleban militants captured the reporter last week in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province. The Taleban says he has confessed to being a spy, but his newspaper has denied the charge.

The Italian government has said they believed the journalist is alive and has said it is taking steps to gain his freedom.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.