Kabul: The bodies of two Germans who went missing nearly three weeks ago while hiking in the Hindu Kush mountains were found in sacks under a boulder in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, a Governor and a police general said.
Abdul Basir Salangi, the Governor of eastern Parwan province, said the men were found under a large boulder about (2 1/2 miles) four kilometers from the south end of the Salang Pass, where they began their hike on August 19. He had no other details.
Police Gen Rajab, who like many Afghans goes by only one name, said the two bodies were inside cloth sacks. He did not know exactly how they died.
The deputy provincial police chief, Ziaul Rahman, said the bodies were very high up on the mountain and he had requested a helicopter to get them down.
The region where they went missing is not a Taliban area, and last month Afghan police speculated the two men could have gotten lost in the high mountains or may have been the victims of a crime. The agency they were working for has not been named.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on August 23 that German and Afghan officials were searching for the pair and could not rule out kidnapping.
The day they went missing, the two traveled to the south end of the Salang Pass, north of Kabul, around 8 am and told their driver they were going into the mountains. They promised to return at 4 pm and the driver waited until 6 p.m. before contacting local authorities, and the search began.
The Salang Pass is a major route through the Hindu Kush mountains that connects the Afghan capital, Kabul, with the northern part of the nation.
Germany has been a major contributor to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan and currently has some 5,200 troops stationed in the country, largely in the north.